Emerging markets risk ‘flight to safety’, IMF official warns

Rising markets threat ‘flight to security’, IMF official warns

Rising markets which have to this point weathered hovering international borrowing prices might discover themselves in bother if episodes such because the turmoil in Britain’s authorities bond market unfold, a senior authorities official has warned. IMF.

Ilan Goldfajn, Director of IMF western hemisphere division, advised the Monetary Occasions that whereas rising markets have to this point been spared a run on greenback belongings, buyers might flee to markets equivalent to U.S. Treasuries if turbulence intensifies.

“It could possibly be what we noticed within the UK. . . might turn out to be a extra generalized vulnerability in order that markets turn out to be extra disorderly,” Goldfajn mentioned in an interview at IMF conferences this week in Washington. “On this world, one thing essential goes to occur for rising markets. . . the flight to security.

He added that whereas the greenback had appreciated in opposition to most international currencies, it was not but due to a shift to US secure belongings. Traders are likely to flock to US markets throughout turbulent instances attributable to their liquid nature and the dollar’s tendency to understand throughout instances of uncertainty.

To this point, many financial savings from Latin America managed to flee the worst of the worldwide market turmoil brought on by rising US charges due to prudent financial insurance policies.

Brazil’s central financial institution was one of many first to raise rates in March 2021, financial coverage tightening a full yr forward of the US Federal Reserve. Mexico adopted in June, adopted by Chile, Peru and Colombia in fast succession. After aggressive hikes, which pushed charges into double digits in Brazil, Chile and Colombia, central banks in Latin America at the moment are at or close to the highest of their tightening cycle.

Nonetheless, Goldfajn – as the previous head of Brazil’s central financial institution and former chief economist at Latin America’s largest lender, Itaú Unibanco – mentioned his previous expertise had made him “all the time afraid of monetary tightening”, particularly when it concerned rising US charges.

The Fed has this yr launched into its most aggressive financial tightening because the early Nineteen Eighties and plans to make its fourth consecutive hike of 75 foundation factors in November.

Such an atmosphere has “by no means been very simple for [Latin America] to navigate,” Goldfajn mentioned.

In a weblog co-authored with IMF colleagues, Goldfajn warned that Latin America faces a “third shock” from rising international rates of interest, along with the coronavirus pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Scarcer and dearer financing would have an effect on consumption and funding in a area that has constantly skilled slower development than its rising market counterparts over the previous decade.

These headwinds have led the fund to revise down its forecast for development in Latin America for subsequent yr. It now expects economies within the area to develop simply 1.7% in 2023, down from a forecast of two.5% six months in the past and properly under anticipated ranges for Asia, the Center East or Sub-Saharan Africa.

Brazil, Latin America’s largest economic system, is now anticipated to develop simply 1% in 2023 – a prediction that Goldfajn mentioned was based mostly on an expectation of decline in growth in ChinaBrazil’s primary export market.

Nonetheless, Latin America will do higher this yr than anticipated in April, when the fund held its spring conferences.

Hovering commodity costs, sturdy exterior demand and remittances, a rebound in tourism and robust post-pandemic development momentum led the fund to lift its Latin America development forecast for 2022 to three.5%, largely as a result of Brazil is performing significantly better than anticipated.

Brazil will develop by 2.8% this yr, in keeping with the IMF, whereas six months in the past its forecasters anticipated development of simply 0.8%. Mexico’s forecast has modified much less and now stands at 2.1% for 2022 and 1.2% for 2023.

Nonetheless below US financial sanctions, Venezuela will probably be among the finest performing international locations within the area this yr and subsequent, in keeping with IMF forecasts. After years of financial collapse, the fund forecasts the South American oil exporter to rise 6% in 2022 and 6.5% in 2023, which might be its finest yr in a decade.

Though the expansion information for Latin America this yr was constructive, the IMF was much less optimistic about inflation.

Whereas the area has been the worldwide chief in rising rates of interest and its principally unbiased central banks have taken a much more aggressive stance than many friends, the fund mentioned “the Latin America will proceed to face excessive inflation for a while.” It raised its forecast for regional inflation to 14.6% for this yr and 9.5% subsequent yr.

“Central banks should keep the course [and] mustn’t loosen up prematurely,” Goldfajn advised the FT. “You must remember that inflation is at present a very powerful threat and the one to be tackled. . . we wish to make sure that inflation doesn’t take root within the spiral of wages and costs.

His principal concern for Latin America, nevertheless, stays the dangers generated by larger rates of interest in the USA. “It could possibly be that this time round we’re higher off, possibly the financial coverage is healthier, possibly we could have extra reserves, possibly our banking techniques are more healthy,” he mentioned. he declares. “However . . . what worries me is that this tightening is right here. It will proceed. We’ll see a deceleration, we’d even see recessions globally. So it isn’t a straightforward atmosphere. in 2023.”


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