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Petro reaction, Lula’s plans, hawkish central banks

Gustavo Petro’s win in Colombia’s presidential election has caused tremors in the country’s financial markets. While the appointment of a centrist finance minister could help to settle investors’ nerves, the global backdrop is turning increasingly unfavourable. In Brazil, Lula, the front-runner in the race for the presidency, unveiled policy plans that will, likewise, probably unnerve investors around the election there in October. Finally, the week was marked by further hawkish noises from central banks in the region. We’ve revised up our interest rate profile in Brazil and the upside risks to our interest rate forecast in Mexico are growing.
William Jackson Chief Emerging Markets Economist
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More from Latin America

Latin America Data Response

Brazil IPCA (Jul. 2022)

The sharp fall in Brazilian inflation to 10.1% y/y in July from 11.9% y/y in June was mainly a result of tax cuts on energy; inflation in most other price categories remains extremely strong. Even so, at the margin, this data release increases the likelihood that the central bank will keep interest rates unchanged (rather than opt for a final 25bp hike) at its next meeting in September.

9 August 2022

Latin America Data Response

Mexico Consumer Prices (Jul.)

The rise in Mexico’s headline inflation rate to 8.2% y/y in July, coming alongside the stronger-than-expected Q2 GDP figures released in late-July, mean that Banxico is almost certain to hike interest rates by 75bp, to 8.50%, when it meets on Thursday. Inflation is set to remain above the 2-4% target range for some time and, as a result, we expect rates to be taken up to 10.00% by year-end.

9 August 2022

Latin America Economics Weekly

Chile’s constitution cost, Massa & Argentina’s mess

A recent report suggesting that provisions in Chile’s draft new constitution could increase annual government spending by 9-14% of GDP underscores that the country is shifting towards the state playing a much bigger role in the economy. Elsewhere, Argentina’s new economic superminister Sergio Massa has talked a good game on sticking to the IMF deal, but meeting the programme’s goals will be a big challenge.

5 August 2022

More from William Jackson

Latin America Economics Update

Banxico’s tightening cycle shifts up a gear

The Mexican central bank’s shift to a 75bp interest rate hike yesterday (to 7.75%) and the hawkish language in the accompanying statement make another 75bp move at the next meeting in August a done deal. And the risks to our end-2022 interest rate forecast of 9.50%, which is already higher than most expect, are now skewed to the upside.

24 June 2022

Latin America Economics Update

Copom: revisiting the 2015-16 playbook

The latest Brazilian central bank communications give a strong signal that, when Copom stops hiking interest rates, it will act in a similar way to the end of the last tightening cycle in 2015. The lesson from that period is that rates will be kept high for a long time and, when an easing cycle begins, it will start very slowly. As a result, we have pushed some of the interest rate cuts in our profile from 2023 to 2024. We now expect the Selic rate to end next year at 11.00% (our previous forecast was 8.50%) and are sticking to our end-24 forecast of 7.50% (versus a current Selic rate of 13.25%).

23 June 2022

Latin America Economics Update

The Codelco strike threat, Chile and the copper price

A threatened strike at Chile’s copper giant, Codelco, could knock as much as 0.3%-pts off quarterly GDP growth for every week that workers are on strike and worsen the country’s balance of payments strains. What’s more, it may not even be enough to give a lift to the copper price given subdued global demand. In view of the wider interest, we are also sending this Latin America Update to clients of our Metals Service.

21 June 2022
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