Today, we have questioned stability in an election where major state-based parties have so far refused to take sides.

And we questioned data on economic growth at the state level – data that many of India’s politicians are flaunting ahead of the polls. Continue reading »

Some good news at last for the beleaguered Brazilian government: GDP growth in 2014 was 2.3 per cent, including 0.7 per cent in the fourth quarter, beating surveys by Reuters and Bloomberg which both had a consensus for 0.3 per cent in Q4.

Among those heaving sighs of relief will be the central bank, whose widely-followed GDP indicator, the IBC-Br, had suggested a marginal contraction in activity in the fourth quarter, which would have put Brazil into a technical recession (two consecutive quarters of contraction). Continue reading »

Five per cent GDP growth is these days more associated with the fittest Asian and African emerging economies than the sluggish EU fringe, but Romania has sprung a surprise with its Q4 2013 figures, its best for five years.

A flash estimate from Bucharest’s National Institute of Statistics on February 14 suggests that the economy grew by 5.2 per cent year-on-year in the final quarter of last year. This takes its full-year rate to 3.5 per cent, among the fastest in Europe and appreciably above a recent IMF forecast of 2.8 per cent. Meanwhile inflation, once a serious concern, fell to an all-time low of 1.1 per cent in January. Continue reading »

These days, Jim O’Neill doesn’t bother much with “Brics” – the moniker he invented. The former Goldman strategist is more into “growth markets” instead. So – is it time for him to look more closely at the FTSE100, rather than the Bovespa?

Based on the new Bank of England projections, the UK economy is set to grow at a 3.4 per cent clip this year. Not too shabby. Less shabby still when compared with the supposedly “high growth rates” in certain parts of the emerging world. Continue reading »

So, China’s gross domestic product grew by 7.7 per cent in 2013. Much media comment has focused on how this performance, by Chinese standards, is relatively lacklustre. It is, together with last year’s 7.7 per cent expansion, the lowest growth rate since 1999.

However, there is another perspective. A quick look at the International Monetary Fund’s list of countries’ GDP numbers shows that China grew last year by an amount somewhat smaller than the size of the entire Indonesian economy but larger than Turkey. Continue reading »

It looks like Colombia’s economy is coming back to the boil.

Official growth figures for the third quarter show that the economy grew 5.1 per cent, compared with the same quarter a year earlier, beating the consensus forecast of 4.3 per cent. Continue reading »

Thailand’s GDP figures were a bit of a disappointment on Monday, showing growth in Q3 of just 2.7 per cent.

The main culprit was domestic demand, which fell 1.2 per cent year on year. That’s a particular blow as local consumption has up to now been one of the most consistent drivers of growth: since 2007, domestic demand has fallen only in the exceptional circumstances of the global financial crisis of 2008-09 and Thailand’s huge floods of 2001. So what’s the problem now? Continue reading »

Maybe it’s time to start preparing for a return wave of CEE migrants from western Europe, as Thursday’s flash GDP third quarter numbers show that most of the region’s economies are experiencing a sharp recovery – in contrast to stagnation in the eurozone. Continue reading »

Wasn’t the talk in some corners of Lima that the Peruvian economy was already pointing upwards? It seems for policy makers it needed yet another push.

Surprising analysts, the central bank has cut its policy interest rate, which has been fixed at 4.25 per cent a year since June 2011, to 4 per cent. Continue reading »

The IMF’s World Economic Outlook caused a bit of a stir this week, given the gloomy outlook for emerging economies.

But within the Fund’s number crunching a few things were a little overlooked. Such as the rather drastic revisions to some GDP forecasts from the previous April outlook. Look away Libya, hello Turkmenistan. Even some major EMs got a significant downward shift. Chart of the week takes a look at the difference 6 months can make. Continue reading »

What’s the difference between Kenya and Nigeria? About two centuries, according to a new study by Stephen Broadberry and Leigh Gardner, two professors at the London School of Economics.

The pair have totted up the levels of GDP per capita of the countries of Africa, and compared them with historic rates of GDP per person in pre-industrial Europe. Citizens of Sierra Leone are about as rich as early medieval Englishmen, and modern-day Kenyans are just as rich as Elizabethans. Continue reading »

India may well be facing its worst economic crisis since the 1990s and confidence is worryingly low. To make matters worse, on Friday the government announced the weakest economic growth data in four years with GDP expansion down to 4.4 per cent in the three months to June.

In response, several banks have slashed their growth forecasts, some by over 1 percentage point. It’s looking pretty grim. Continue reading »

Indonesian growth has slowed, according to the GDP data out on Friday. Growth for the second quarter of 2013 was 5.8 per cent, the first sub-6 reading since Q3 2010.

How worried should we be? Continue reading »

Another stimulating note from the always-readable Frederic Neumann at HSBC in Hong Kong, titled An inconvenient truth. In it, he looks at the relation in Asia ex Japan between credit on one side and productivity and growth on the other.

The results are more disturbing than inconvenient. Continue reading »

Polish retail sales grew in May according to figures released on Tuesday, in a sign that growth in the Polish economy is slowly accelerating. Sales were up 0.5 per cent year on year, above market expectations of a 0.1 per cent fall.

Households remain cautious about spending but the figure provides some grounds for optimism. Sales of pharmaceuticals and cosmetics grew by an annual 10.5 per cent, while sales of vehicles and durable goods increased by an annual 5.1 per cent and 7.5 per cent respectively. Continue reading »