The economic fallout from political risks in Lat Am

The pandemic appears to be accelerating a political trend towards populism in Latin America. While there is a lot of uncertainty about how this might play out, it generally points towards loose fiscal policy and greater state intervention across the region. The key economic risks are that this could lead to weaker public finances, lower potential growth and possibly higher inflation over the medium term. The more immediate impact will probably be to keep Latin American financial markets under pressure.
Nikhil Sanghani Emerging Markets Economist
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Latin America Economics Weekly

The fiscal risk of rising rates, Mercosur tariff cuts

Central banks were once again in the spotlight this week after the supersized 125bp rate hike in Chile, but one issue that is often overlooked is the damaging impact of rising interest rates on public finances across the region. Brazil is particularly vulnerable on this front, and may resort to financial repression over the medium term to alleviate debt risks. Otherwise, an agreement to cut Mercosur's common external tariff is a positive step towards liberalisation but, as always, domestic politics could be a hurdle for further progress.

15 October 2021

Latin America Economics Update

Brazil: signs of stagflation

The multitude of supply shocks hitting Brazil’s economy are likely to keep inflation at 7-10% well into next year and cause the pace of recovery to slow to a crawl in the next few quarters. Overall, we now expect GDP growth of just 1.3% next year, which sits below the consensus.

14 October 2021

Latin America Economics Update

Chile: front-loaded tightening cycle has further to run

The surprisingly large 125bp rate hike delivered by Chile’s central bank yesterday, to 2.75%, suggests that it will continue to front-load its tightening cycle to clamp down on high inflation. We now expect a further 225bp of hikes in this cycle, to 5.00%, by the end of Q1 2022 (previously 4.00%).

14 October 2021

More from Nikhil Sanghani

Latin America Economics Weekly

Worrying signs from Castillo, regional re-opening

The first steps from Peru’s newly-inaugurated President, Pedro Castillo, provide plenty of worrying signs for investors and suggest that local financial markets will remain on the back foot. Meanwhile, with virus numbers coming down across much of the region, most economies are re-opening to varying degrees and near-term economic prospects are brightening. Mexico is the key exception.

30 July 2021

Latin America Economics Weekly

Mexico’s Delta despairs, Bolsonaro’s giveaways

The third virus wave currently underway in Mexico, driven by the contagious Delta variant, will probably weigh on activity this quarter. But, for now, we don’t think that it will derail the economic recovery. Elsewhere, the falling popularity of Brazil’s President Bolsonaro and the spectre of impeachment seems to have bolstered the president’s demands for higher public spending. This could be a running theme in the run-up to next year's election, suggesting that fiscal risks will intensify once again.

23 July 2021

Latin America Data Response

Mexico Bi-Weekly CPI (Jul.)

The small fall in Mexico’s headline inflation to 5.8% y/y in the first half of July was mainly due to fuel inflation dropping back, while the core rate remained stubbornly high at 4.6% y/y. The central bank has now shown that it will act to clamp down on above-target inflation suggesting that another 25bp rate hike, to 4.50%, is likely at its next meeting in August.

22 July 2021
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