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Economy & Business - January 2020

LEADER
Protests in Ecuador, an abrupt change of government in Bolivia, strikes in Peru, demonstrations in Colombia and the ongoing political crisis in Venezuela suggest the Andean region as a whole is in the throes of an upheaval...
ANDEAN COUNTRIES
On 28 December 2019 Verónica Artola, the general manager of Ecuador’s central bank (BCE) announced during a radio interview that its forecasts for the country’s economic growth in 2019 had been downwardly revised due to the impact of the October protests...
Colombian politicians have taken their time discussing a light passenger railway system for the capital, Bogotá...
PERU | Oil expansion targeted...
BRAZIL & SOUTHERN CONE
Having inherited a major economic crisis in a notoriously volatile economy, the Argentine government of President Alberto Fernández which took over on 10 December 2019 is not doing too badly...
Once more the ‘Vaca Muerta’ shale oil and gas deposits in Patagonia are being touted as the solution to Argentina’s recurring economic troubles...
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has delivered a slightly mixed endorsement of the Uruguayan economy...
Chile is facing something of a retail industry melt-down as the upheaval caused by social and political protests enters its fourth month...
PARAGUAY| Fiscal deficit larger than anticipated...
CENTRAL AMERICA & CARIBBEAN
Plans for regional integration in Central America have been progressing, and representatives discussed further initiatives at a forum in El Salvador...
Alejandro Giammattei took over as Guatemala’s new president on 14 January...
Back in August 2019, the CEO of Suriname’s state-owned oil company Staatsolie, Rudolf Elias, said that the company would make its first oil discovery within three weeks...
HONDURAS | IMF completes reviews...
MEXICO
After months of delay, both the US House of Representatives and the US Senate have approved an updated version of the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) regional trade accord in the past month...
Mexico's risk premium has continued to fall steadily, with the spread on five-year credit default swaps (CDS) – an indication of the level of credit risk that markets attach to economies – standing at just 73 basis points (bps) on 6 January...
In late December 2019, the Mexican government announced a 20% increase to the minimum wage, effective from the start of 2020...
Interest rate cut: On 19 December 2019 Mexico’s central bank (Banxico) cut its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 7.25%, the fourth cut in interest rates in 2019...

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