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SnapshotsOct 17, 2019 | 19:59 GMT
South Africa: Enforced Blackouts Further Weigh on a Troubled Economy
For the second straight day, South African electricity consumers have had to contend with unexpected power cuts affecting businesses and households across the country. The embattled national electricity provider Eskom, which supplies about 95 percent of South Africa's electricity, ordered the outages in a maneuver called load shedding after failures at several generation plants endangered the integrity of the power grid. The cuts underscore the fragility of the South African electrical grid, saddled with aging and poorly maintained infrastructure, and may indicate a rough summer ahead as seasonal demand increases.
AssessmentsSep 20, 2019 | 18:39 GMT
An aerial view of harbored shipping cargo.
Southeast Asia Is on the Front Lines of the U.S.-China Trade War
The U.S.-China trade war has recently shown some signs of a truce that could sustain talks. But this has brought little refuge for global markets, given that a snap decision by the White House could swing U.S.-China tensions back into high gear. Because of their proximity to and deep integration with regional supply chains (and with China in particular), Southeast Asian countries are among the best-positioned to benefit from the manufacturers leaving China to escape U.S. tariffs. Indeed, Vietnam has emerged so far as the clear winner on this front, though even it isn't immune to the world's fraught economic outlook. The strengthening U.S. dollar, for one, has roiled Southeast Asian currencies, while declines in global demand have sapped Southeast Asia's vital export revenue. The global headwinds also pose a challenge to the region's political orders built on delivering rising prosperity -- forcing each country to balance benefits with risks to maintain its
Quarterly ForecastsJun 17, 2019 | 14:35 GMT
Stratfor's 2019 Third-Quarter Forecast focuses on the most important factors affecting the international system this quarter.
2019 Third-Quarter Forecast
The United States will remain at the center of world events this quarter as its strategic competition with China escalates, relations with Iran deteriorate and the threat of tariffs or sanctions loom over all.
SnapshotsMay 28, 2019 | 15:13 GMT
Italy: Rome and Brussels Gear Up for Another Deficit Fight
Italy is rolling up its sleeves for another showdown with the European Commission. On May 27, Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said he planned to proceed with his economic program, which includes lowering taxes and increasing expenditures for big infrastructure projects -- regardless of whether the European Commission likes it or not. On June 5, meanwhile, the commission is expected to issue an assessment of the Italian economy that will likely include calls to lower the country's deficit. Faced with pressure at home and abroad, the partners in Italy's government are ultimately likely to stick together and try to find internal compromises on policy, at least for a few more months. Domestic disputes and external pressure, however, are only set to increase, meaning Italy is set for an uncertain political and fiscal future.
AssessmentsFeb 19, 2019 | 10:00 GMT
Members of the Congress of South African Trade Unions demonstrate on Feb. 13, 2019, as part of a nationwide strike to protest a possible restructuring on Eskom, South Africa's state-owned electric utility.
How an Inefficient Power Provider Could Dim South Africa's Prosperity
More than a year after assuming South Africa's presidency, Cyril Ramaphosa is still trying to balance the twin pressures of populism and business as his government strives to address some of the long-term economic problems that have plagued the country for years. However, with its economy still in the doldrums and general elections approaching on May 8, the president faces a pressing dilemma: How to reform key sectors of the economy to spur a wider economic improvement while also pursuing policy choices that will appease the traditional bases of support for his ruling African National Congress party, such as labor unions.
AssessmentsJan 11, 2019 | 12:00 GMT
A picture taken on March 12, 2018, shows a ship docked at the Tanger Med container port and Renault terminal in Ksar Sghir, near the northeastern Moroccan port city of Tangiers overlooking the Strait of Gibraltar.
Why Banks in Morocco Are Spreading the Wealth Around Africa
A new source of foreign direct investment is emerging in many sub-Saharan African nations: the kingdom of Morocco, situated right on the continent itself. Owing in part to quick and decisive reforms in 2011, Morocco largely avoided the Arab Spring turbulence that shook other parts of the Arab world in North Africa and the Middle East. And in recent years, solid growth in the manufacturing, tourism and energy sectors, as well as a rapidly expanding financial sector, has fueled the development of a very strong Moroccan economy. As long-dominant European banks gradually disappear from Africa, Morocco is using its newfound financial muscle to project power across the continent in the hopes of becoming a wealthier and more internationally influential country, but it still needs to address problems at home if it wants to remain one of the most stable states in Africa.
AssessmentsNov 28, 2018 | 13:30 GMT
Vendors sell nuts as people shop under a banner reading "An End to Inflation" in Istanbul's Eminonu neighborhood on Nov. 6, 2018.
As Turkey Enters 2019, Its Economic Woes Are Never Far Away
Turkey has endured more than its fair share of economic hardships in 2018, but its annus horribilis might portend even greater trials and tribulations in the year to come. Inflation reached record levels, going as high as 25 percent in September, a month after the value of its currency dropped to the unprecedented level of almost 7 liras to the dollar, striking investors with fear. Watching on wearily, consumers could only express their despair as the prices for staples soared. And far from shoring up confidence in the economy, the government and its plans to tackle the crisis simply invited derision.
Quarterly ForecastsJun 26, 2017 | 13:54 GMT
The United States will maintain its security alliances abroad, but it will also generate enough uncertainty to drive its partners toward unilateral action in managing their own neighborhoods.
2017 Third-Quarter Forecast
Federal investigations and budget battles with Congress will make for another distracting quarter for U.S. President Donald Trump. But these disruptions won't mitigate the White House's rhetoric, or broader speculation that the United States is retreating from the global stage. And though mixed messages from the U.S. administration won’t result in Washington abandoning its traditional allies, they will spur more unilateral action by U.S. partners in the Middle East, Europe and Asia.
Partner PerspectivesFeb 23, 2017 | 16:57 GMT
An article by John VanPool, EGF Turkey and Black Sea Regional Analyst
Insights into Turkish Domestic and International Politics: Jan.1-Feb. 5, 2017
After securing the support of the nationalist MHP, the AKP's majority in the Turkish Parliament voted 339-142 to make the president the de-facto head of state. Under current statutes, the constitutional amendment could have passed automatically if the threshold of 367 votes had been reached. Amendments receiving 330-366 votes send the proposal to a vote of the people, which has been scheduled for April 2017.
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