CATEGORY: Economic Roundups
All eyes were understandably on Vienna at the end of June, and the gathering of oil ministers from the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Their decision to increase output was endorsed by the non-OPEC producers who signed up to the original cuts 18 months ago.
As the rhetoric from the US White House swerves from combative to compromise and back again, uncertainty in the global trading environment is creating potential pitfalls for emerging markets the world over. In the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), which counts China as its largest trading partner, member states watch with trepidation as President Donald Trump ramps up threats of levies on nearly all Chinese products shipped to the US.
Largely thanks to the recovering prices of some key commodities, the region recorded a positive first quarter in 2018, with the IMF forecasting Latin America and the Caribbean’s GDP growth for the year to reach 2%. Currency volatility remains among the primary challenges, however, offsetting some gains. The economy is thus centre stage in countries headed to the polls this year, potentially ushering in a period of economic transformation in several of the region’s major players.