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Ethiopia’s dam, South Africa’s fiscal conundrum

Tensions over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam have ratcheted up over the past week, raising the risk of conflict with Egypt, which would do severe damage to both the country’s near- and long-term economic outlook. Elsewhere, South Africa’s government seems to be pinning its hopes on structural reforms to get out of its debt problem; we’re not so optimistic.
Jason Tuvey Senior Emerging Markets Economist
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More from Africa

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

Emerging Europe Economics Update

Turkey’s inflation risks mount, CBRT to delay rate cuts

Turkish inflation hit a two-year high in June and recent domestic energy price hikes will cause it to rise even further over the next couple of months. High inflation and signs of a quick recovery from May’s lockdown mean that the central bank will probably delay the start of its easing cycle until later this year. We now expect the one-week repo rate to be lowered to 17.00% by end-2021 (previously 14.00%).

7 July 2021

Emerging Europe Data Response

Turkey Consumer Prices (Jun.)

The fresh rise in Turkey’s headline inflation rate to 17.5% y/y in June, coupled with signs of a strong rebound in activity after May’s three-week lockdown, means that an interest rate cut in the next couple of months is increasingly unlikely. An easing cycle is now more likely to commence later this year when inflation looks set to fall sharply.

5 July 2021

Emerging Europe Economics Weekly

Turkey dollarisation, Ukraine-IMF, Russia & Poland rates

Turkey’s central bank took steps this week to tackle deposit dollarisation in the banking sector, although these efforts will fail to make headway in the absence of a stronger commitment to rein in high inflation. Meanwhile, Ukraine’s government still has work to do to secure the next tranche of its IMF loan, but the economy can muddle through without help from the Fund for some time. Finally, other developments this week suggest that Poland’s central bank may stick to its recent dovish rhetoric while Russia looks like it could accelerate the pace of monetary tightening.

2 July 2021
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