The IIF covers 30-40 emerging and frontier markets, with a particular focus on economic and financing issues. Our reports feature topical analysis of macroeconomic fundamentals, policy developments, political economy dynamics and downside risks.
Sovereigns are increasingly tapping capital markets to finance fiscal deficits. Private inflows to the MENA region continue to be dominated by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar. Resident outflows are declining but still exceed inflows. FDI remains subdued and concentrated in the energy sector.
We project a real GDP contraction of 7.5% in 2020 and a modest rebound in 2021. Tourism remains depressed, but remittances have surpassed pre-COVID-19 levels. SLV, JAM, and PAN are set to endure the steepest recessions, while GTM should contract the least due to its stable macroeconomic framework.
In the October MTBPS, the government increased deficit targets again. This will result in a steeper rise and higher peak of government debt. We see substantial risks to both revenue and expenditure projections. Additional budgetary support to troubled SOEs also looks likely in ‘21.
The Hong Kong Autonomy Act (HKAA) stipulates potentially highly damaging sanctions. At the extreme, the U.S. may disconnect China’s banks and corporates from the U.S. Dollar. Should the conflict escalate, we worry about unintended consequences for global markets.
Progress is being made on fiscal adjustment and structural reforms. The sharp fall in oil revenues will exceed the cut in public spending, leading to a large fiscal deficit. Strong adjustment and partial recovery in oil prices could make the fiscal position more sustainable.
We forecast a modest activity upturn in 2021 from a deep recession this year. Mexico, Argentina, and Peru are set to suffer the largest output contractions regionwide. A weak global backdrop, pre-existing challenges, and eroded policy buffers could complicate the recovery.
We expect a stronger recovery in capital flows to Asia relative to other EMs in 2021. FDI remains an important driver, with India and Indonesia as the largest recipients. Relatively robust inflows and c/a adjustments in ‘20 allow for reserve accumulation. A reemergence of COVID-19 and geopolitical factors are the key risks to the outlook.
We expect a slow and uneven recovery in non-resident capital flows globally. CEEMEA should fare somewhat better with a broad pickup in ‘20H2 and ‘21. The recovery will likely be driven by stronger FDI and portfolio capital flows. A possible COVID-19 resurgence and geopolitical risks weigh on the outlook. If sentiment worsens, Turkey, South Africa, and Ukraine will be most exposed.
We forecast a deep contraction in 2020, followed by a modest recovery in 2021. The biggest economies, with their large buffers and low debt, are best prepared for the difficult environment. Broadly, the region needs to implement major reforms to improve competitiveness and curtail corruption.