South Africa Consumer Prices (May)

Although South Africa’s headline inflation rate jumped to a multi-year high of 5.2% y/y last month, the weakness of core inflation and the recent tightening of lockdown measures means that the Reserve Bank is unlikely to shift towards monetary tightening in the coming months.
William Jackson Chief Emerging Markets Economist
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Africa Data Response

South Africa GDP (Q3)

South Africa’s GDP contracted by 1.5% q/q in Q3 as violent unrest and a third virus wave hit the economy hard, and the more recent data suggest that activity remained depressed even before the latest rise in COVID-19 cases driven by the Omicron variant. Against this backdrop, monetary policy tightening is unlikely to be as aggressive as most currently anticipate.

7 December 2021

Africa Economics Weekly

Lockdown lessons from SA, influx of jabs and cash?

South African policymakers appear to be reluctant to impose restrictions in the face of the threat from the Omicron variant, but their hand could be forced if the health system comes under strain. In previous waves, measures have been tightened when hospitalisations have breached 5,000. While we’re some way off that, the figures are on an upwards path. Meanwhile, ambitious pledges by Africa’s key development partners including China and the EU on vaccines and infrastructure investment will lift the region’s longer-term economic prospects. Finally, even with the IMF on board, restoring Zambia’s debt sustainability will remain challenging.

3 December 2021

Africa Economics Update

Debt sustainability in Zambia: mission impossible?

Zambia’s new administration has made encouraging noises about restoring macroeconomic stability and addressing the country’s public debt problem. But it will be a tall order to secure a large restructuring and stick to the fiscal consolidation that will be needed to leave the public debt ratio on an even keel.

2 December 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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