Third wave fears grow

Worries about a third wave of COVID-19 in the region have intensified in the past month and the tightening of lockdown measures in some countries – most notably South Africa – will weigh on recoveries. As things stand, surges in cases appear concentrated in countries in the south of the continent; cases have trended down in many of the region’s other large economies (e.g. Nigeria, Ghana and Ethiopia). With vaccine rollouts progressing at a snail’s pace amid low supplies across the region, fresh virus outbreaks will remain a persistent threat to the outlook. The glimmer of hope is that global powers are looking to increase vaccine supplies and, perhaps most importantly, China could be in a position to flood the world with easily-deployable jabs later in the year.
William Jackson Chief Emerging Markets Economist
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Africa Economics Update

Oil woes to hold back recoveries in Angola & Nigeria

Falling oil production has weighed on the Nigerian and Angolan economies, with the latter likely to suffer its sixth consecutive annual decline in GDP this year. While output should rise next year, we doubt that either will be able to meet its OPEC+ quota, preventing faster recoveries from taking hold in 2022.

21 October 2021

Africa Data Response

South Africa Consumer Prices (Sep.)

Although South Africa’s headline inflation rate picked up to 5.0% y/y in September, soft underlying price pressures and a fragile economic recovery mean that policymakers will only normalise monetary policy gradually. By contrast, investors currently appear to expect a relatively aggressive tightening cycle.

20 October 2021

Africa Economics Weekly

FX orthodoxy in Nigeria? Strikes in SA, Ethiopia’s conflict

Comments by Nigeria’s vice president endorsing a more market-based exchange rate regime reflect growing concern about the distortionary effects of the current FX system, but there is no evidence that key officials backing the existing currency arrangements are also shifting tack. In South Africa, ongoing industrial action in the steel industry will probably dampen manufacturing output in Q4, in another hit to the recovery in the sector and the wider economy. Finally, escalating tensions in Ethiopia raise the spectre of more severe strains in the balance of payments.

15 October 2021

More from William Jackson

Latin America Data Response

Brazil & Chile Consumer Prices (Jun.)

The further rise in Brazilian inflation, to 8.3% y/y, means Copom will continue to hike when it meets next month. But the data are not quite enough to prompt a shift from 75bp hikes to a larger 100bp move. Meanwhile, with Chilean core inflation continuing to run above target and optimism about the economy growing, we now think the central bank will start its tightening cycle when it meets next week.

8 July 2021

Emerging Europe Data Response

Russia Consumer Prices (Jun.)

The further rise in Russian inflation to a stronger-than-expected 6.5% y/y in June means the central bank (CBR) is likely to up the pace of tightening when it meets in a couple of weeks. A 75bp hike (to 6.25%) seems most likely, but the probability of an even larger 100bp hike has risen.

7 July 2021

Emerging Markets Economics Update

EM credit growth: where do the risks lie?

With the (usual) exception of Turkey, the strong rates of credit growth seen in some EMs including Brazil and Korea are unlikely to be sustained as policymakers have already started (or will soon turn to) tightening policy. The bigger concern is the extreme weakness of credit growth in other EMs such as Mexico and the Philippines, which threatens to further hold back economic recoveries.

6 July 2021
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