- Peru – the country’s credit rating has been upgraded;
- Turkey – a hefty interest rate hike, after all;
- Venezuela – better-than-anticipated growth and a political circus.
BRAZIL: The Central Bank this year has raised interest rates more than any other major monetary authority in the world to contain inflation and put a floor under the real. Monetary erosion remains insufficiently controlled, however, and the real is still vulnerable on the downside. This is so in large part because the authorities prefer the unit on the soft side.
BULGARIA: Though resistant to the street protests that have troubled it almost from day one, the Socialist-led administration of Prime Minister Oresharski is proving to be virtually unable to govern, let alone push through the serious reforms the country needs. It is unlikely to serve out its term.
INDIA: India has been especially hard hit by the departure of hot money from emerging markets, because its current-account BoP and budget deficits are disturbingly large. This and other structural weaknesses are the reason why the numerous emergency measures taken by the authorities have only deepened the sense of crisis and added to the downward pressures on the rupee.
MALAYSIA: The CB has lowered its expectation of economic growth this year. Yet, if the ringgit remains weak, monetary as well as fiscal policy may have to be tightened. In the political arena, high profile shootings and the deaths of suspects in custody are putting growing pressure on the government
NEW ZEALAND: The Reserve Bank is still concerned about a housing bubble. But inflation, in general, remains subdued. So, the CB does not want to raise interest rates, concerned that this could trigger a new run-up of the local dollar to the detriment of exporters and the economy.
RUSSIA: As economic growth continues to recede, President Putin is calling for stimulatory measures. A looser credit regimen, though, is being held back by worries about the overheated market for unsecured consumer loans. And an amnesty program for jailed entrepreneurs will not do much to change Russia into a place where many are eager to do business.
SINGAPORE: PM Lee Hsien Loong is pushing an ambitious master plan that will guide economic development for years to come. While official attitudes are hardening toward “tainted money,” the City is still building up its activities in global wealth management. It is also working on its plans to become an offshore center for renminbi.
UKRAINE: With the economy continuing to flounder, the regime is under pressure to turn more to Russia or meet the EU’s conditions for a closer association. For his own political reasons, Pres. Yanukovich does not seem prepared to do either, and the indecisiveness can only hurt the country.