Blog

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

Okanagan Wine Economy Questions

This post first appeared on my travel blog - as it focuses on economic questions about the wine ecosystem in British Columbia, I'm also reposting it here. It highlights the pressures to consolidate within the industry, the drivers of the sector's proliferation, the challenges of resource use (water, biodiversity and food supply) as well as… Continue reading Okanagan Wine Economy Questions

Lingering Questions post G20

The major market takeaway from the G20 is the U.S.-China trade truce which defers the imposition of new tariffs from the U.S. and keeps/return the two countries to negotiations. This avoids a negative outcome of tit for tat tariffs in the near term, confirming some recent market optimism, but leaves many unanswered questions. Among areas… Continue reading Lingering Questions post G20

Spring Meetings: Growth and Debt Worries, Investors More Optimistic

I’ve just returned from several days in Washington at the Spring Meetings of the IMF and World Bank, where I spoke to a range of investors, policymakers and academics. Overall, the mood was subdued, colored by continued concerns on growth, trade risks and other sources of policy uncertainty including central bank independence. While most thought… Continue reading Spring Meetings: Growth and Debt Worries, Investors More Optimistic

IMF/WB Spring Meetings: What I’m watching for

The IMF and World Bank Spring meetings kicked off this week in Washington, and are a good opportunity to take the pulse of global investors and policy makers on global risks and opportunities - emphasis likely to be on the former. The institutions own forecasts for growth signal another downgrade in expectations, perhaps catching down… Continue reading IMF/WB Spring Meetings: What I’m watching for

Global: Clouded Growth, Supportive Monetary Stance

Since the beginning of the year, two major potential downside policy risks have receded, the risks of overtightening of financial conditions due to Fed and other central bank tightening and a further escalation of the tariffs associated with the U.S. China trade war. The combination has led to a strong asset market rally and reversal… Continue reading Global: Clouded Growth, Supportive Monetary Stance