Are these the dog days of fiscal consolidation?
COLOMBIA · Report · 22 Feb 2024

President Gustavo Petro uses the expression “golpe blando” to mean a style of soft coup-d’état that doesn’t involve force, massive street demonstrations or the actual ouster of a president. Rather, under this concept, the seizure of power can occur subtly, via legal initiatives, investigations fo...

On a wait-and-see mode
TURKEY · Report · 22 Feb 2024

The CBRT/MPC kept the policy rate at 45% today, as expected. There were a number of additions and changes to the statement, which we highlight/comment on in our report. On a relatively minor note, there is now a relatively lengthy sentence on domestic demand conditions, which we read as an ack...

Lithuania restricts train travel to and from Russian exclave
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS · In Brief · 22 Feb 2024

On February 22 the announcement was made that trains going from Russia through Lithuania the Russian exclave Kaliningrad will not be allowed to pick up or drop off passengers. The rule will take effect from March 1. Lithuania is also closing two border crossings with Belarus. It closed another tw...

Haddad will look into the Perse program, Lula will meet with party leaders of the House to improve their relationship, and Flavio Dino takes office as a justice of the STF
BRAZIL POLITICS · Report · 22 Feb 2024

The Minister of Finance, Fernando Haddad, said he will look closely into Perse, a program that funds the events sector. Fraud was identified in the program, whose expenses exceeded R$17 billion. This evening, President Lula will meet with the party leaders of the House and the president of the Ho...

Budget 2024 underscores South Africa's fiscal challenges against the backdrop of a marked economic slowdown
SOUTH AFRICA · Report · 22 Feb 2024

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana yesterday delivered Budget 2024, which also represented the last Budget of the 6th South African democratic administration. In his speech, the Minister made it clear that the biggest challenge to the fiscus is that “the size of the pie is not growing fast enough ...

Bi-Weekly Economic News Summary
KAZAKHSTAN · In Brief · 21 Feb 2024

Feb 9 NBK: As of February 1, Kazakhstan's gross international reserves (including gold) grew to $96.1 bln (+0.1% m-o-m). National pipeline: In January, KazTransOil exported 287K tons of oil (+36% y-o-y) from the port of Aktau. S&P: In January, Kazakhstan exceeded the OPEC+ quota by 92K bpd. Prime...

Domestic politics suddenly come into motion
HUNGARY · Report · 21 Feb 2024

We have mostly good news on the energy situation. January, the outstanding peak of the heating season, was once again warmer than average, although not quite as warm as one year earlier. Domestic gas reserves are almost at their historic maximum for this time of the year, and European gas prices ...

Russia and Venezuela agree to enhance collaboration on hydrocarbons
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS · In Brief · 21 Feb 2024

On February 20 the foreign ministers of the two countries met in Caracas and made the agreement which included a statement about working together on civilian nuclear energy, farming medicine. This is Sergei Lavrov's second visit to Venezuela since the Ukraine War began.The Russian Foreign Ministe...

Lula will meet with Haddad to discuss the payroll tax, several civil servants are calling for salary raises, and President Lula's statements about Israel continue to weigh negatively on the government
BRAZIL POLITICS · Report · 21 Feb 2024

President Lula meets with the Minister of Finance, Fernando Haddad, to discuss reimbursing the payroll tax. The matter will be addressed through a bill with constitutional urgent status. Some civil servant groups are mobilizing for salary raises. The work-to-rule job action of federal agricultura...

Polish protests block Ukrainian exports
RUSSIA / FSU POLITICS · In Brief · 20 Feb 2024

On February 20 farmers and truckers stepped up protests to stop Ukrainian food from being brought into Poland. They say they are undercut by Ukrainian produce and the low wages of Ukrainian truckers. They want limits on Ukrainian food and trucks entering the country. Much of the produce is not so...

Politics: Widely divergent poll numbers and a potential hidden vote complicate the picture as some surveys show Xóchitl rebounding
MEXICO · Report · 20 Feb 2024

Since September, when the de facto presidential campaigns of Claudia Sheinbaum and Xóchitl Gálvez began, many of the country’s polling firms have showed the Morena nominee way out front. The Oraculus website’s average reading of major polls has detected virtually no movement in the voting intenti...

Fast track administration
ECUADOR · Report · 20 Feb 2024

President Noboa has sent four emergency bills to congress since November, when he took office. The first one, containing a mild tax reform that according to the government might help raise $700 million this year, was approved by the Assembly with few changes. The second, aimed at improving the si...

The official PRM party sweeps the municipal elections
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC · In Brief · 20 Feb 2024

The big winner of the municipal elections, held on February 18, 2024, was the official party. The PRM won 121 of the 158 mayoralties, equivalent to 76.6% and 40 more mayoralties than those won in the last 2020 elections. While the parties that made up the opposition alliance Rescate RD obtained 2...

The temporary truce and other weekly topics
BRAZIL POLITICS · Report · 20 Feb 2024

Throughout the week, the Government and Congress should negotiate on payroll tax relief, Perse (a program for the events sector), and Budget cuts. Conversations continue around the Ministry of Labor's ordinance on work on Sundays and holidays. Senator Flávio Dino resigns to take a seat on the STF...

Government leaders will meet to discuss the payroll tax exemption, party leaders will meet to discuss the parliamentary funds veto, and the STF has maintained the date of Bolsonaro’s deposition
BRAZIL POLITICS · Report · 20 Feb 2024

Yesterday, the government leader in Congress, Senator Randolfe Rodrigues, said that the payroll tax relief issue would be resolved by the end of this week. He said that a solution only depended on President Lula's approval. Party leaders who are part of the Joint Budget Committee will meet to dis...