Comprehensive country-by-country macroeconomic analysis, risk appraisals, latest market data and forecasts for Latin America

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Key stories from this month's issue...

Risk Summary - Venezuela - MAR 2015

Andean February 2015 / Venezuela / Economy

Venezuela has the lowest score in our Short-Term Political Risk Index in the Latin American region, recently falling below Honduras. Policymaking in Venezuela is extremely streamlined given President Nicol?s Maduro's ruling party's nearly unfettered ability to enact new policies, giving the country a high score on the 'policymaking process' subcomponent of our index. Nevertheless, for the same reason policies can change very quickly and in unpredictable fashion, and Venezuela ranks last in the 'policy continuity' score. Amid widespread protests and political polarisation, Venezuela's 'social stability' score is also the region's lowest.

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Risk Summary - Rousseff Remaining Above Corruption Scandal - FEB 2015

Brazil January 2015 / Brazil / Political Risk

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's approval ratings are likely to remain relatively consistent in the coming months unless there is substantial evidence of wrongdoing on her part or that of her close associates with regard to an unfolding corruption scandal at state-owned oil company Petrobras.

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Risk Summary - Barbados - MAR 2015

Caribbean February 2015 / Barbados / Economy

Barbados' Short-Term Political Risk Index (STPRI) rose this month to 72.7 from 68.8 previously. This continues to be bolstered by a strong security situation and ability for the government to implement policy. Barbados now scores above the regional average of 68.8 due to these reasons. However, weak social stability weighs on the country's assessment. There is potential for increased problems with social stability looking forward as deterioration in public opinion stemming from austerity measures could lead to a decline in government approval ratings, which could lead to additional public protests.

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Risk Summary - Panama - MAR 2015

Central America February 2015 / Panama / Economy

Panama's Short-Term Political Risk Index score of 71.0 reflects a high level of security stability and policy continuity. While new President Juan Carlos Varela has introduced small changes to Panama's previous programmes, on the whole he has not deviated from Panama's long-term policies. Further, while a modest uptick in narcotrafficking activity may pose problems in the future, it has not yet become a major issue in Panama. On the other hand, a weak coalition government keeps the policy-making flexibility difficult, which may prove problematic through the upcoming year.

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Political Risk Analysis - Ruling PRI To Lose Support In Midterms Due To Iguala Crisis - JAN 2015

Mexico November 2014 / Mexico / Economy

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto's approval rating will continue to fall in the coming months, as the disappearance of 43 students in Iguala heightens concerns over security and corruption. This will have negative implications for the ruling Partido Institucional Revolucionario in the June 2015 mid-term elections, increasing the odds of a strong result by the main centre-right opposition party, the Partido Acción Nacional.

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Risk Summary - Argentina - MAR 2015

Southern Cone February 2015 / Argentina / Economy

Argentina's weak score in our proprietary Short-Term Political Risk Index stems from a very low score in the 'Social Stability' component of the index. The country scores just 32.5 out of 100 in this area due to double-digit inflation and social unrest, although these two factors are mitigated somewhat by just moderate unemployment. We expect political risk to remain elevated in 2015, given policy uncertainty in the run up to national elections in October 2015, and the vote's uncertain outcome.

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