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Q&A on Russia’s budget, deficit financing & default

In this Update, we answer a number of key questions on Russia’s public finances, including the likelihood of a sovereign default, the impact of higher energy prices and the collapse of the economy on the budget position, and how the government would be able to finance a budget deficit.
Liam Peach Emerging Markets Economist
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Emerging Europe Economics Update

Russian sovereign default more symbolic at this stage

Russia’s government has now reportedly defaulted on its foreign-currency denominated debt for the first time since 1918, but this is a largely symbolic event that is unlikely to have an additional macroeconomic impact. Sanctions have already done the damage and locked Russia out of global capital markets.

27 June 2022

Emerging Europe Economics Weekly

Governments collapse, Russia set to default

Governments in Israel and Bulgaria collapsed this week which may delay support to households over the cost of living. The threat to Bulgaria’s economy is probably greater, as political instability also puts EU fund inflows and the ability to secure gas supplies at risk. Elsewhere, a 30-day grace period for Russia’s government to make interest payments on Eurobonds ends on Sunday. While Russia has signalled that it is willing to make the payments in rubles, this would be a breach of the contract and could mark Russia’s first default on foreign currency debt since the Bolshevik revolution.

24 June 2022

Emerging Europe Economics Update

CBRT: knock knock, anybody there?

High inflation, falls in the lira and aggressive monetary tightening elsewhere are clearly not enough to persuade Turkey’s central bank to lift interest rates, as it left its policy rate at 14.00% today. Disorderly falls in the lira are a major risk, which would probably be met with capital controls rather than rate hikes.

23 June 2022

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Emerging Europe Economics Focus

War in Ukraine to exacerbate macro imbalances in CEE

The war in Ukraine will exacerbate two key macro risks in Central and Eastern Europe this year: wage-price spirals (particularly in Poland) and widening current account deficits (particularly in Hungary and Romania). Monetary policy will do most of the heavy lifting to cool demand and we think that interest rates will stay higher for longer than most expect. This is one factor behind our below-consensus GDP growth forecasts for the region. In the meantime, currencies will weaken further against the euro.

19 May 2022

Emerging Europe Data Response

Central & Eastern Europe GDP (Q1 2022)

Q1 GDP figures for Central and Eastern Europe smashed expectations in Poland, Romania and Hungary and suggest that their economies were running hot at the start of the year. The war in Ukraine will dampen activity in Q2, but demand is likely to remain strong which will keep wage and inflation pressures elevated and require central banks to raise interest rates further than most expect this year. EM Drop-In (17th May): Do current EM debt strains point to a repeat of the kinds of crises seen in the 1980s and 1990s? Join our special briefing on EM sovereign debt risk on Tuesday. Register now.

17 May 2022

Emerging Europe Data Response

Israel GDP (Q1 2022)

The 1.6% q/q annualised contraction in Q1 GDP in Israel was weaker than analysts expected, but it was more or less in line with our forecast and doesn’t change the bigger picture that Israel’s economy is operating in line with its pre-pandemic trend. With inflation rising and the labour market tightening, we expect the central bank to raise interest rates from 0.35% now to over 2% next year. EM Drop-In (17th May): Do current EM debt strains point to a repeat of the kinds of crises seen in the 1980s and 1990s? Join our special briefing on EM sovereign debt risk on Tuesday. Register now.

16 May 2022
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