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A fresh look at fiscal positions in Latin America

Fiscal balances have generally improved across Latin America this year (barring Chile and Colombia) but we think that governments in most major economies will struggle to implement the substantial austerity needed to stabilise public debt-to-GDP ratios. Lingering fiscal and debt risks will probably keep government bond yields high and currencies under pressure in the region, particularly in Brazil.
Olivia Cross Assistant Economist
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Latin America Economics Weekly

Chile’s new constitution, Brazil’s improving finances

Some of the doubts over Chile’s political system have eased after the Constitutional Convention completed a draft of the new charter, but political risks remain high for now, which may keep the peso on the backfoot in the coming months. Elsewhere, while the Brazilian government’s budget deficit has continued to narrow, we don’t think the country’s fiscal troubles are over for good. LatAm Drop-In (26th May, 10:00 ET/15:00 BST): Join our 20-minute briefing about Colombia’s election and other regional political and fiscal risks – including Lula vs Bolsonaro in October. Register here.

20 May 2022

Latin America Data Response

Chile GDP (Q1)

The 0.8% q/q contraction in Chile’s GDP in Q1 suggests the economy is coming back down to earth after a stellar 2021, and there is a growing chance of a recession this year. Meanwhile, the current account deficit widened to a worryingly large 7.3% of GDP, making the economy especially vulnerable to a further tightening of external financial conditions.

18 May 2022

Latin America Economics Update

Colombia’s economy to beat expectations this year

The solid 1.0% q/q rise in Colombia’s GDP in Q1 suggests the economy came through the Omicron virus wave in good shape and, given the recent surge in oil prices, we expect above-consensus growth of 6.0% this year. That said, a possible victory for interventionist Gustavo Petro in the upcoming presidential elections may weigh on investment and growth further ahead. 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

More from Olivia Cross

Latin America Data Response

Mexico Consumer Prices (Oct.)

The rise in inflation in Mexico to 6.2% y/y in October paves the way for another rate hike at the central bank’s meeting on Thursday. However, the surprise fall in GDP in Q3 will probably keep the pace of tightening gradual. We expect a 25bp hike, to 5.00%.

9 November 2021

Latin America Economics Update

A closer look at the latest surveys

The latest survey data suggest that GDP growth held up relatively well in Brazil and picked up slightly in Mexico in Q4. In the meantime, Chile’s red-hot recovery is continuing which will keep the central bank’s aggressive tightening cycle going in the coming months.

3 November 2021

Latin America Economics Update

Tighter financial conditions to hold back recoveries

Financial conditions in Latin America have tightened sharply this year, most notably in Brazil and Chile, on the back of aggressive monetary tightening and growing political and/or fiscal risks. With these factors likely to persist, tight financial conditions add to growing headwinds facing recoveries in the region.

28 October 2021
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