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4/7/09

Snapshots from regional economies

Chile: February's YoY growth figure was a very nasty -3.9%, worse than even the downtrodden -3.3% the local economists* expected. Not only that, but consumer prices clicked up 0.4% in March. Stagflation, anyone?

Colombia: Exports are down 13.2% YoY for January 2009, with a trade deficit to boot. Ugh.

Argentina: Due to the liars and thieves at the official INDEC stats office it's very difficult to get an accurate inflation figure about Argentina, but certain times of the year help us out. As Easter is upon us, the traditional "Easter Basket" of goods is being measured compared to last year's prices as a 21% increase. That tallies quite well with other anecdotal information on Argentina inflation.

Peru: The Central Bank will cut interest rates this week, the only question being "by how much?". If the cut is 0.25% it means the Velarde and his Central Bank friends see inflation risk. A 0.5% cut is the most likely outcome. Anything above that wil mean "Oh crap, we need to boost things and yesterday" and will also knock the Nuevo Sol (PEN) down against the greenback. The trade surplus Peru registered will allow Velarde more room to be aggressive if he wants to be. Personally I predict a 0.5% cut and a slight lowering of the reserve requirements at Peruvian banks. That combo might make Credicorp (BAP) an interesting short-term trade, but DYODD.


*dumbasses in suits