Brazil IPCA-15 (Nov. 2021)

The Brazilian inflation reading of 10.7% y/y in mid-November (the same as the October full month figure) provides the first sign that inflation is now stabilising. But with the headline rate still far above target and fiscal risks persisting, it looks more likely than not that Copom will raise the Selic rate in a larger 175bp step (to 9.50%) when it meets next month.
William Jackson Chief Emerging Markets Economist
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Latin America Economics Weekly

What does FinMin Marcel mean for Chile?

President-elect Boric’s announcement today that (now outgoing) Governor of the Central Bank, Mario Marcel, will be Chile’s next Finance Minister is a clear signal that his government will pursue prudent fiscal policy. While the news is going down well with investors, we think that lingering political, fiscal and external risks will ultimately make it difficult for the peso to keep hold of its recent gains. We expect that the currency will weaken by 5-10% against the US dollar by year-end.

21 January 2022

Latin America Economic Outlook

Falling to the back of the pack

The regional recovery will lag further behind others in the emerging world in the coming years. The Omicron-led surge in virus cases presents a risk to growth in the near term, but we suspect that the economic hit will be small. Larger drags will come from the unwinding of fiscal support and further monetary tightening in response to high inflation. Our rate forecasts are generally more hawkish than the consensus. Falling commodity prices will also weigh on growth in the region, and will cause current account balances to deteriorate, with external positions in Chile and Colombia looking increasing shaky. Lingering fiscal and political risks will keep local financial markets under pressure in much of Latin America, particularly ahead of elections in Brazil and Colombia this year.

20 January 2022

Latin America Economics Weekly

Closer look at Lula, auto sector U-turn?

There have been some recent clues that Brazil’s former left-wing president Lula, the current favourite to win October’s election, may not be as radical as some fear. But there is still a clear risk that he would backslide on key economic reforms. Otherwise, the encouraging recoveries in auto production in Brazil and Mexico tallies with broader evidence that global goods shortages began to ease towards the end of 2021. Unfortunately, the recent surge in Omicron cases globally risks putting a spanner in the works as supply chains may face renewed disruption.

14 January 2022

More from William Jackson

Emerging Markets Economics Chart Book

EM tightening cycles have further to run

Inflation in the emerging world has generally surprised to the upside in recent months. But while inflation in most parts of Asia remains at levels which central banks are comfortable with, it has risen well above target in much of Emerging Europe and Latin America. Soaring energy (and in some countries food) prices explain a big chunk of the rise in headline rates, although the re-opening of economies and goods shortages have caused core price pressures to intensify too. This has prompted central banks to step on the brakes and raise interest rates, with policymakers in Brazil, Chile and Czechia in particular stepping up the pace of tightening over the past few weeks. Looking ahead, with inflation across both Latin America and Emerging Europe set to remain above central bank targets for a while yet, further rate hikes lie in store. The key exception is Turkey where, under pressure from President Erdogan, the central bank has signalled that it will ease policy again at its next meeting.

19 November 2021

Latin America Economics Update

Higher rates quickly adding to Brazil’s fiscal challenge

By next year, Brazil’s public sector interest payments could be almost twice as large (at ~8% of GDP) as they were in 2020, making the challenge of stabilising the public debt-to-GDP ratio all the more difficult.

15 November 2021

Latin America Economics Weekly

Core inflation concerns, elections in focus

The October CPI figures out of the region this week, which showed a marked strengthening of core inflation, are likely to ring alarm bells for central banks in the region and may trigger larger rate hikes in Brazil and Chile next month. Politics is likely to be centre of attention next week, with Chile’s presidential election entering the final straight, while the results of Argentina’s mid-term elections on Sunday are likely to determine the chances of a new IMF deal.

12 November 2021
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