Venezuela isn’t the place to be if you enjoy peace and calm. With daily protests against a government many view as a dictatorship keeping the military on the streets fulltime, and economic metrics such as soaring inflation sending prices through the roof, this oil-rich nation’s central bank has become a master of juggling the few resources it does have to stay afloat.
Despite its woes, Greece’s stock markets are on a winning streak, responding positively to a deal between Greek officials and EU creditors on the reforms needed to satisfy the conditions of the country’s bailout program. Although things are looking up, they may not be as rosy as investors believe as complications abound, and caution is in the end the best approach to take.
It’s safe to say that the Brazilian government has had a trust problem in recent years, and that this disconnect from approved practices has detrimentally affected its once vigorous economy. The IMF, in its recent Fiscal Transparency Evaluation for Brazil, took a close look at the areas in which the South American titan is succeeding and failing to live up to fiscal-transparency expectations.
It is no secret that China has been facing serious problems related to its mounting debt levels. The growing pile of bad loans, especially from the country’s corporate sector, has raised red flags at many of the world’s leading research institutions.
At the beginning of 2017, the European Central Bank (ECB) confirmed that it will keep its benchmark rate unchanged at 0 percent and its deposit rate at -0.4 percent. To sustain European economies, the ECB will also continue its bond-buying program with 80 billion euros (US$85 billion) per month until the end of March.
Africa is known as a resource-rich continent. It is now also becoming rich in growing consumer markets. Multinationals, hotels and even luxury-goods retailers are setting up shop across the continent, seeing it as the last great emerging opportunity.
Much has been made of Europe’s struggling banking sector since the turn of the decade. In October, for instance, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reported that across the world, banks that were in charge of approximately $12 trillion of assets will continue to remain vulnerable, even if a global economic recovery takes hold.
Japan boasts the world’s third-largest economy, and yet it has been stalled by deflation, low wage growth and slowing GDP. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s three-arrow Abenomics policy, introduced four years ago, was meant to counter years of economic stagnation, but despite some success, it may be time to re-evaluate the plan.
After a heavy recession brought on by the military conflict with Russia, Ukraine’s economy and banking system now appear to be firmly on the mend. Indeed, things have improved to such an extent that by the end of May, Moody’s had revised its outlook for Ukrainian banking from negative to stable.
The markets have been climbing a wall of worry over the last several months. Investors seem to be focusing in on the bad economic news reports and exaggerating their importance. Positive news on the outlook is either dismissed outright or quickly forgotten. Real GDP in the third quarter of 2014 rose 5 percent in the third revision reported in late December.