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Guyana’s Outlook For 2022 Exciting Published: 29 December 2021

  • “The outlook for 2022 is exciting but will not be without challenges as Guyana continues to face a worsening global supply chain crisis”, said President, Dr. Irfaan Ali. 
  • The consequence of the global supply chain crisis has been rising prices for imported goods, supplies, and transportation services. “This, coupled with climate change and the pandemic, would require robust and strategic policymaking to mitigate against the full consequences of the challenges, both social and economic”. 
  • Every Guyanese, he noted, must resolve to be stronger, better, and more committed to individual, family, community, and country development to enhance their future welfare.

(Source: Guyana Chronicle)

Brazil's Current Account To Widen As Export Windfall Fades Published: 29 December 2021

  • Brazil's current account deficit will widen over the coming quarters as global commodity prices trend lower and export earnings correspondingly revert. Fitch Solutions estimates Brazil's current account shortfall at 0.6% of GDP in 2021, its narrowest since 2007, which reflected surging goods export earnings and constraints on service imports (via mobility restrictions that curtailed outbound tourism).  
  • Fitch Solutions forecast Brazil's current account deficit will widen to 2.3% of GDP in 2022, as lower average global commodity prices see export earnings revert after a windfall year, narrowing the goods trade surplus. 
  • With global travel restrictions likely to be significantly looser over the coming year, a revival of outbound tourism will likely widen the services trade deficit. 
  • Capital inflows are likely to be volatile, as the approaching general election will likely drive wide swings in investor sentiment that could result in periods of funding shortfalls.

(Source: Fitch Solutions)

Global Shares Rise As Investors Shrug Off Omicron Worries Published: 29 December 2021

  • Global equity markets climbed on Tuesday, boosted by another record-setting open on Wall Street as investors shrugged off concerns over Omicron-driven travel disruptions and store closures. 
  • Asset classes from oil to equities are near or above recent highs, having clawed back losses from late November when the Omicron variant of COVID-19 sent investors scurrying for safety. A delay in Britain and France on imposing more COVID curbs before year-end also excited investors. As the worst fears over the impact of the variant have subsided, investors have returned to risky assets. 
  • "The latest rebound in risky assets was activated last week by new reports confirming that the Omicron coronavirus variant, although more transmissible leads to fewer hospitalizations and deaths," said Charalambos Pissouros, head of research at Cyprus-based brokerage JFD Group. 
  • The MSCI world equities index was up 0.2%, within striking distance of a record high hit last month. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 156.94 points, or 0.43%, to 36,459.32, and the S&P 500 gained 2.29 points or 0.05%


Treasuries-Two-Year Yields Highest Since March 2020, Longer-Dated Yields Dip Published: 29 December 2021

  • Two-year Treasury yields hit almost two-year highs on Tuesday, following tepid demand for an auction of the notes on Monday, while longer-dated yields dipped but held within their recent ranges in light trading. 
  • Two-year note yields, which are highly sensitive to interest rate shifts, have risen to the highest since March 2020, with the Federal Reserve seen closer to raising rates as the U.S. economy rebounds from COVID-19 related shutdowns and inflation surges. 
  • A $56 billion auction of two-year notes on Monday saw soft demand, pricing at a high yield of 0.769%, around half a basis point above where they had traded before the sale. 
  • Longer-dated yields dipped slightly but held within their recent ranges before the Treasury is due to sell new intermediate-dated debt.

(Source: Yahoo Finance)

General Accident Receives “Good Creditworthiness” From CariCRIS Credit Ratings Published: 24 December 2021

  • General Accident Insurance Company Jamaica Limited (GENAC) has been assigned initial issuer/corporate credit ratings by Caribbean Information and Credit Rating Services Limited (CariCRIS). GENAC is the first standalone general insurance company in Jamaica that has been rated by CariCRIS. 
  • The ratings of jmA- (Foreign Currency Rating) and jmA (Local Currency Rating), on the CariCRIS Jamaica national rating scale, reflect GENAC’s good market position as a long-established player with strong brand equity in Jamaica’s general insurance industry. 
  • GENAC’s investment portfolio continues to display good returns and good liquidity, despite the impact of COVID-19, also factored into the rating. Furthermore, GENAC’s history of profitable operations and its strong Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) framework both support the ratings. 
  • The outlook on GENAC’s rating is stable, reflecting expectations that the company will continue to be profitable, maintaining all its key credit drivers including good capitalization and liquidity. As at September 2021, it had assets totaling J$9.1Bn, and over the last 5 years (2016-2020), its revenues and net profit have averaged J$8.7Bn and J$346.4Mn, respectively.

(Sources: JSE News)

27,357 Jamaicans to Receive Cash Grants Under COVID-19 Assistance Programme Published: 24 December 2021

  • Approximately 27,357 Jamaicans will receive a one-off $16,000 payment under the COVID – 19 Cash Assistance programme. 
  • The $155.0Mn cash transfer initiative, is aimed at aiding poor and needy persons, who are not benefiting from Government social assistance. This will in turn contribute to an improvement in private consumption and consequently, economic recovery. 
  • The United Nations World Food Programme, through the Canadian Government, provided a grant to the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to undertake the initiative. The Ministry will oversee the equitable distribution of the funds. 
  • The cash distribution is being facilitated by WiPay (Jamaica) Limited, through its network of outlets across the island. Portfolio Minister, Hon. Karl Samuda, said that the use of WiPay will increase efficacy in the distribution of the funds and facilitate greater levels of accountability. He further added that it allows for greater flexibility and greater accountability because the system is one that makes provision for automatic audit.

(Sources: JIS News & NCBCM Research)

Mexico inflation lower than forecast, but core prices stir concern Published: 24 December 2021

  • Inflation in Mexico was lower than expected during the first half of December, data showed on Thursday, though core inflation exceeded forecasts, prompting a member of the Central Bank's board to voice concern about underlying price pressures. 
  • National statistics agency INEGI said inflation reached 7.45% in early December after averaging 7.37% in November, which was the highest rate in Mexico since early 2001. 
  • The core rate of inflation, which strips out some volatile items, hit 5.87%, above Reuters’ analysts' prediction of 5.70%. The initial Reuters consensus forecast for core inflation was 5.68% after the core rate had reached 5.67% in November.

 (Source: Reuters)

CariCRIS Maintains Barbados’ Credit Rating Published: 24 December 2021

  • CariCRIS has reaffirmed Barbados’ credit rating of CariBB for local currency and CariBB- for foreign currency, with a stable outlook. 
  • The stable outlook reflects the agency’s expectation of successful realignment of the home-grown Barbados Economic Recovery and Transformation (BERT) programme, which is aimed at reducing debt-to-GDP to 60% by 2035/36 and introducing more stringent fiscal planning and accountability. 
  • The ratings were also supported by several factors, including the fact that fiscal consolidation continues despite COVID-19 pressures and other unanticipated shocks, comfortable and growing foreign currency reserves, good financial sector stability indicators, and “strong tourism fundamentals suggest robust post-COVID-19 rebound potential”.

 (Source: CariCRIS)

Canada economy grows in October and November, seen outweighing Omicron woes Published: 24 December 2021

  • Canada's economy likely expanded for the sixth consecutive month in November, after matching expectations in October, official data showed on Thursday, implying the Bank of Canada will stay the course on interest rate hikes, despite the rise of the Omicron variant. 
  • Real gross domestic product rose 0.8% in October from September, in line with analyst estimates, while November GDP was most likely up 0.3%, according to Statistics Canada. It also revised up September's GDP gain to 0.2% from 0.1%. 
  • With November's rise, which is a preliminary estimate, Canada's economy is just 0.1% below pre-pandemic levels, Statscan said. The gains also imply fourth-quarter GDP will be stronger than Bank of Canada forecasts, analysts said.


China to roll out policies to help exporters amid economic headwinds Published: 24 December 2021

  • China will roll out more policies to help exporters and importers as foreign trade faces growing uncertainties, the official Xinhua news agency said on Thursday. 
  • China's surprisingly resilient trade performance this year has provided a crucial buffer to the slowing economy, but analysts expect exports to come under great pressure in coming months as the COVID-19 pandemic eases. Demand for Chinese goods is expected to fall as global lockdowns ease and people spend more on services. 
  • Authorities will step up the support to the trade sector, including implementing previously flagged tax and fee cuts and speeding up the export tax rebates, said the State Council. Premier Li Keqiang said in November that China is studying a new combination of tax and fee cuts to help small businesses.

(Source: Reuters)