• Jamaica – FX reserves are very low;
  • Lebanon – damage from the Syrian war;
  • Macedonia – muddling through;
  • Mali – a new Cabinet;
  • Trinidad & Tobago – a modest recovery;
  • Uruguay – well-managed conditions.

INDIA:  The rupee has regained quite a bit of ground since hitting a record low in August. Just the same, the CB will opt for further interest rate hikes to fight inflation and because longer-term problems for the currency persist.  Additional rate increases, however, will hurt growth, which barely exceeded 4% in the last quarter.

IRAQ:  Violence has increased ominously across the nation, raising concern that the country may return to all-out sectarian war.  Some investors still take an optimistic view, but the country’s economic future hinges on the oil sector, where the recovery has been faltering. The business environment, in general, remains quite weak and troubled by a number of problems.

JORDAN:  The Kingdom is between a rock and a hard place when it comes to the civil war in neighboring Syria. The recent revamp of the government has strengthened the clout of technocrats. The economy remains fragile, even though it performed well during the first semester. A gas deal with Israel is under consideration

MALAYSIA:  Prime Minister Najib Razak is back to relying on race-based policies that by now cause as many problems for the economy as they appear to solve in the social arena. His difficulties are exacerbated by the need to announce unpopular steps in the budget to be unveiled tomorrow.

SPAIN:  The budget for 2014 is the first in years that is largely free of austerity measures, based on the assumption that economic growth will return next year. The results for this year’s third quarter seem to bear this out. Unfortunately, the expansion will not be nearly sufficient to make much of a dent in unemployment.

SYRIA:  The economy is in a tightening squeeze due to the war and sanctions. The UN resolution will do nothing to stop the bloodshed and will probably not even suffice to get the chemical weapons destroyed. Greatly complicating the situation is the growing presence among the rebels of Qaeda-linked groups with their own agenda.

UZBEKISTAN:  Even though President Karimov still appears to be in good health, political maneuvering between various factions with regard to who will succeed him has been intensifying. Internationally, the regime is seeking to play East against West, with some success. The economy is doing quite well, both internally and externally.

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