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Economic impacts of the Novel Coronavirus: What to Watch

The coronavirus onset in China and escalating policy response has hit global markets over the last week investors fear that it will hurt global growth. The policy response has shut down many key transport nodes and forced quarantines of urban areas where over 50 million people live. Meanwhile, many international airlines and stopped flights to… Continue reading Economic impacts of the Novel Coronavirus: What to Watch

Global Scenarios: What Can go Wrong?

Since early December, global market sentiment has been quite upbeat, as developments seen as risks including a tit-for-tat tariff escalation, an acute, unplanned and hard Brexit and (premature) monetary tightening and credit stress receded.  These reinforced our view that global recession was unlikely, though growth remains relatively sluggish. All these trends and continued monetary support… Continue reading Global Scenarios: What Can go Wrong?

Thought Provoking Reads 2019

Since I launched this blog, sharing my favorite books for the year has been one of the posts I’ve most enjoyed writing. I hope you enjoy reading them and sharing with me your recommendations. While I read a lot of thought-provoking pieces appear in feature article, academic journal and other formats, it’s a bit easier… Continue reading Thought Provoking Reads 2019

Saudi Arabia: Trying to Hold the Line

Saudi Arabia’s budget statement for 2020 was approved December 9, the end of a busy week for the country and its energy sector, including the prior week’s OPEC+ meeting and key developments in the long-awaited IPO of Saudi Aramco, its state-owned energy company. The budget takes a relatively conservative stance on both oil and non-oil… Continue reading Saudi Arabia: Trying to Hold the Line

EM Outlook: Latam Continues to Lag EM Peers

Note: Some of the thoughts expressed in this piece can be found in my November 26 interview with Sri Jegarajah and Nancy Hungerford of CNBC Asia Squawk Box. Global recession risks have abated, along with our forecasts, but underlying growth momentum is far from strong. This sluggish growth includes the engines of global growth in… Continue reading EM Outlook: Latam Continues to Lag EM Peers

Global Outlook: Tenuous Trade Truce Overshadows Sluggish Demand

Bottom line: The most likely scenario is one of rather sluggish global growth, stabilizing from some 2019 trends, but not a strong expansion into 2020. A U.S. recession is not a done deal, and monetary policy settings will shift to an easier mode. These trends will likely keep political pressures and distribution issues rising and… Continue reading Global Outlook: Tenuous Trade Truce Overshadows Sluggish Demand

Mexican Macro Check-up: Contradictions Remain, adding to Chronic Problems

The unexpected departure of Mexican Finance Minister Carlos Urzua sparked concern and market pressure, particularly as it was punctuated with a powerful departure letter criticizing the lack of support for evidence based policy and many economic “discrepancies” in policymaking. The move, not entirely surprising, comes amid concerns about political pressure on economic policy not only… Continue reading Mexican Macro Check-up: Contradictions Remain, adding to Chronic Problems