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In 2014, transaction volumes are forecast to be down slightly relative to 2013 and stable in the pre-owned sector. Prices in the pre-owned sector are forecast to fall 2.5% y/y after a drop of 1.9% at end-2013. In 2015, volumes should remain stable in the pre-owned sector and pick up a little, by 5%, in the developer new-build segment. Prices look set to fall modestly in the pre-owned sector, by 2%.
In September this year, the inflation rate slowed slightly, to 0.3% y/y, compared with 0.4% y/y in August. This is a very low level, far lower than the trend level of 1.6% since 2000.
In most Latin American countries, the current account went into the red after the 2008 crisis, with moderate, temporary deficits. Then, starting in 2011, it took another turn for the worse, and deficits spread across the region. The average current account balance as a percentage of GDP for Latin America fell from a 1.3% surplus in 2005 to a 2.6% deficit in 2013, and should fall further, to negative 2.8% in 2014.
Imports should also be slightly more dynamic, fuelled by the upturn in demand (2.5% after 2.4%). However, given the very gradual nature of moves to rebuild inventories and the ongoing adjustment in investment levels, import growth should stay below trend.
Continue to reduce public deficits, in order to meet EU commitments and gradually reduce the public debt ratio. This is very high, at 92.2% of GDP in 2013, and is likely to come out even higher in 2014, at 95.3% and at 97.2% in 2015 (official forecasts). It should only start to fall from 2017. The debt ratio should begin to ease from 2017, thanks to a further reduction in the deficit and slightly more sustained growth.
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