- Jamaica – new investment laws & regulations in the making;
- Turkey – the lira’s depreciation hurts companies carrying FX debt;
- Uzbekistan – a steep drop of the sum;
- Vietnam – the economy continues to do well.
ARMENIA: The country has been painfully sideswiped by the troubles besetting the Russian economy, having just joined the Moscow-led EEU. Strategic reasons persuaded Yerevan to lean toward Russia, but this now comes with a high economic cost. Mending fences with the European Union will be difficult.
CHILE: President Bachelet’s emphasis on equality has been damaging the economy, without benefitting her politically. The difficulties have been exacerbated by headwinds obstructing economic growth from abroad and by finance scandals revolving mainly around the Right-wing opposition, but also touching the first family.
ESTONIA: The new governing coalition consists of three instead of the previous two parties, but it will follow essentially the same policy course, judging from a campaign that was dominated by economic and security issues. Concerns about Russia’s intentions will not go away, of course, helping to create tensions within the population.
GERMANY: Virtually all the main economic gauges point to a gradual acceleration of the economic recovery this year, on the heels of a modest rebound in 2014 that nonetheless was stronger than many had anticipated. Just the same, there is no shortage of criticism of the policies Berlin is pursuing, but the faultfinding is misdirected.
GREECE: It looks as though Athens has gotten over the debt repayment hump that threatened to derail it this week, but only barely. This means that the Syriza-led government will have to intensify its negotiations with the creditors on a new reform package. The squeeze on PM Tsipras and this crew is tightening.
LIBYA: UN-sponsored talks aiming for the creation of a unity government are still struggling on, but their odds of succeeding are dismal while the presence and spreading of ISIL in the country make the search for a solution a battle against time.
PORTUGAL: While there is some churning in the banking sector, the problems are limited and do not appear to have affected investor confidence a great deal. The country has done well since it exited its financial bailout program without the benefit of a precautionary loan and it is now planning to repay its IMF accommodation ahead of schedule.
ROMANIA: PM Ponta has installed a new Finance Minister whose first challenge will be to convince the IMF and the European Commission that the fiscal discipline that drastically cut the budget deficit has created room for tax cuts to spur consumption and investment. Although imbalances persist, the economy is doing quite well and the country’s external position has strengthened.
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