Latin American Update

2017 forecasts for Mexico – specifically GDP growth, Private Consumption, Gross Fixed Investment and Manufacturing Production – have tumbled noticeably, on the back of the Trump Effect. The US election result raised worries about anti-Mexican rhetoric north of the border and the future of the current NAFTA treaty. Given that over 80% of Mexican exports go to the US, this is a particular concern. The peso plunged to Ps21/US$ earlier this month, pushing up the 2017 CPI consensus. Venezuela is sinking deeper into economic collapse, and the situation is fuelling crime, civil strife and widespread protests. The Maduro government and opposition legislators have been at loggerheads for a while, but were finally brought together by the Vatican to thrash out a tentative ‘road map’ to deal with the economic and political crisis. The government received some positive news from state oil company PdVSA. Holders of US$2.8bn in PdVSA bonds agreed to a swap, offering a reprieve to the cash-strapped entity which has been weakened by mismanagement, low oil prices, poor infrastructure, falling output and tight liquidity.

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