Have emerging markets vanquished inflation?

Low inflation is here to stay in much of the emerging world. However, there is a significant risk that inflation rises, albeit moderately, over the medium term in several countries. This risk isn’t limited to the usual suspects like Turkey and Argentina. But it also includes other major emerging economies such as Brazil, South Africa, Indonesia, the Philippines, Colombia and, to a lesser extent, Mexico and India.
William Jackson Chief Emerging Markets Economist
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CE Spotlight

The rebirth of inflation?

The debate over inflation has become polarised between those who expect a return to the 1970s and those who believe inflation is still dead. The reality is more nuanced and inflation outcomes are likely to vary between countries. A new era of higher inflation is most likely to emerge in the US and perhaps the UK. But we think inflation will remain extremely low in the euro-zone, Japan and China. In those countries where we anticipate a sustained rise in inflation, the most likely outcome is that it increases to moderately higher rates of 3-4%. But risks are generally skewed to the upside and there is a real possibility that inflation increases to a much higher rate that would, in time, necessitate a more substantial tightening of policy.

30 September 2021

CE Spotlight

What would an era of higher inflation mean for currencies?

We think that a return to a regime of higher and less stable inflation in many major economies would result in a rise in exchange rate volatility and, over time, the depreciation of the currencies of those countries which experience higher inflation.

30 September 2021

CE Spotlight

What would an era of higher inflation mean for markets?

We expect underlying inflation in the US to be significantly higher over the next decade on average than it has been over the last one. Nonetheless, we don’t think that it will climb sharply from here, or that it will coincide with much weaker economic growth or tighter monetary policy. So, in our view, markets will not falter in the way that they did during some periods of high inflation in the past.

29 September 2021

More from William Jackson

Latin America Data Response

Brazil IPCA-15 (Sep. 2021)

The increase in Brazilian inflation to 10.1% y/y in the middle of September means that another large hike in the Selic rate at the Copom meeting next month is nailed on (we expect a 100bp hike to 7.25%). And while inflation should start to ease back from October, we think that the tightening cycle will continue with the Selic rate is likely to hit 9.00% by early next year.

24 September 2021

Latin America Economics Update

Brazil: Copom keeping its foot on the brakes

The statement from yesterday’s Brazilian central bank meeting, at which the Selic rate was raised by 100bp (to 6.25%), made clear that Copom is on the warpath to stop inflation expectations rising. With the inflation outlook worsening, we now think that the Selic rate will be raised to 9.00% by early next year (our previous forecast was 7.50%).

23 September 2021

Emerging Markets Economics Chart Book

Debt risks come back to the fore

Problems at Evergrande in China have dominated the headlines recently, but (sovereign) debt risks are brewing in other EMs too. Concerns about higher government spending and rising public debt levels are building in parts of Latin America. Meanwhile, sovereign dollar bond spreads have surged in a handful of frontier markets including Sri Lanka, Tunisia and Ethiopia. These economies all face the worrying combination of large external foreign-currency debt burdens, low FX reserves and weakening currencies. We are most worried about Sri Lanka. While the country will probably muddle through this year, it will face a crunch point in early 2022 when large bond repayments are due. A default is now looking the most likely option.

21 September 2021
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