With the end of the China-led commodities super-cycle, Latin American economies by and large face headwinds from a more challenging external environment, often in tandem with volatile domestic and political factors. The outlook ahead has been exacerbated by the failure of most countries to undertake the necessary structural reforms over the past decade, which has resulted in lackluster growth, increasing fiscal deficits and falling investment rates now that times are tougher. Other obstacles include a relatively low level of savings and investment for LatAm countries compared to their EM peers in Asia.

Nonetheless, longer term fundamentals remain compelling for the region, with its favourable demographics, rich natural resources and a strong manufacturing base particularly in Mexico and Central America, fueled by rising exports to the US. As regional currencies have weakened against the US dollar, more exporters will likely become more competitive medium term as well. Investment opportunities abound for the patient investor, but expertise is needed to identify the underlying risks and the optimal timing for entry and exit.

In the region's largest economy of Brazil, a series of missteps from President Dilma Rousseff's first term has led to a ballooning political and economic crisis. Aided by our deep in-country knowledge, we successfully identified the country’s plunge into recession well ahead of the market, and were early as well in laying out the multiple political, legislative and economic ramifications of the deepening Lava Jato (“Car Wash”) investigation, which continues to send shockwaves through the government.

Trusted Sources also tracks vital and important trends in other select Latin American countries, supplemented by intensive on-the-ground research trips and our strong network of local sources. Key research themes include the progress of energy reform in Mexico, the political and economic outlook of the post-Kirchner era in Argentina, and intriguing cross-border developments such as China's regional infrastructure financing and progress on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. We also do bespoke research projects upon request.

* On the road in Mexico: Between NAFTA and AMLO, Cristobal Arias, Grace Fan, Larry Brainard, 5 Dec 2017
* Mexico: Remittance flows look increasingly unsustainable, Cristobal Arias, 11 Oct 2017
There is a risk of remittances slowing down as growth of the Mexican-born population in the US flattens out and the peso gradually converges towards its long-term value.
* Mexico: Political risk to test Banxico policy, Cristobal Arias, 18 Aug 2017
Banxico will keep its policy rate unchanged amid increasing exchange-rate volatility ahead of next year’s presidential election in Mexico as the anti-establishment candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador – known as AMLO –consolidates his lead in the polls.
* Mexico: Why NAFTA 2.0 can’t change much, Cristobal Arias, 20 Jun 2017
* Mexico: Energy reform pushes ahead, despite political jitters, Grace Fan, 23 Mar 2017
A wholesale rollback is unlikely even if AMLO wins the 2018 presidential election, but nationalism is on the rise