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Can South Africa’s banks weather the Covid fallout?

The economic fallout from the coronavirus crisis is likely to push bad loans in South Africa’s banking sector to levels that trigger a round of recapitalisations, which could further increase the burden on the public finances and reinforce fears about the trajectory of government debt.
Jason Tuvey Senior Emerging Markets Economist
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Africa Data Response

South Africa Activity Data (Mar.)

South Africa’s activity data for March were weak and that was even before flooding in KwaZulu-Natal province dealt a fresh blow to the economy. Inflation figures released earlier today may have increased the risk of a 50bp interest rate hike tomorrow but, with the recovery likely to remain slow and bumpy, we continue to think that rates will be raised more slowly than most expect over the next couple of years.

18 May 2022

Africa Data Response

South Africa Consumer Prices (Apr.)

South Africa’s headline inflation rate remained close to the upper bound of the Reserve Bank’s 3-6% target range in April, at 5.9% y/y, and will stay there over the coming months. Tomorrow’s interest rate decision will be a close call between a 25bp (our forecast) and a 50bp hike but, given the slow and bumpy recovery, we continue to think that rates will be raised more slowly than investors expect over 2022-24.

18 May 2022

Africa Data Response

Nigeria Consumer Prices (Apr.)

Inflation in Nigeria jumped to 16.8% y/y last month and the headline rate is likely to rise further as spillovers from the war in Ukraine filter through. Pressure to tighten monetary policy is mounting but we think that MPC members will stick to their guns and keep interest rates on hold over the coming months. 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

More from Jason Tuvey

Middle East Economics Update

Iran: nuclear deal, elections and the economy

Negotiators appear to be closing in on an agreement to revive Iran’s nuclear deal which, if revitalised, would provide a substantial lift to Iran’s economy – it could plausibly expand by 8-10% per year in 2021-23. Higher Iranian oil output would act as a drag on global oil prices and could prompt governments in the Gulf countries to keep fiscal policy tight, weighing on their recoveries.

7 June 2021

Emerging Europe Economics Weekly

Erdogan piles on the pressure, Israel’s surprise coalition

Talk this week of rate cuts in Turkey has led to further falls in the lira and, ironically, means that the central bank will stand pat at this month's MPC meeting. In Israel, the coalition proposal formed to topple incumbent PM Benjamin Netanyahu is so fractured we don't think it will lead to major changes in economic policy. Finally, the announcement by Russia's government to de-dollarise its National Wealth Fund assets won't have an economic impact, but it is a clear move ahead of the Biden-Putin summit this month that Russia sees its future as isolated from the West.

4 June 2021

Emerging Europe Data Response

Turkey Consumer Prices (May)

The latest falls in the lira mean that, despite the fall in Turkey’s headline inflation rate to 16.6% y/y last month, the central bank (CBRT)will probably leave interest rates unchanged at this month’s MPC meeting. But the CBRT is likely to fulfil the president’s desire for monetary loosening by August.

3 June 2021
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