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  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Three years after the global economy reached its lowest point in three-quarters of a century, the recovery remains incomplete and the outlook uncertain. On March 9th 2009, the capitalisation of Morgan Stanley\'s global stockmarket index fell to US$26trn, nearly 60% below its 2007 peak. Today, the value of the world\'s stockmarkets has yet to return to the pre-crisis level—nor has the confidence of most consumers and businesses. The excesses of the last ten years—the personal debt accumulated early in the last decade and the public debt added during the recession—have saddled many countries with weak economic foundations and little or no resilience to shocks. This has left the US economy, in particular, struggling for a third straight year to lock in faster growth. It has left debt-ravaged Europe in recession and China manoeuvring unsteadily to deflate a bubble. On the brighter side, the global economy will grow again this year and the imbalances that built up over the past decade will continue to unwind. But global growth will be slower this year than last, and a host of risks—from elevated oil prices to war in the Middle East, to the collapse of Europe\'s single currency—will weigh on confidence and reduce spending and investment.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Markets, Global Recession, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: The new government in Myanmar has made a series of liberalising gestures over the past year, raising hopes that it is serious about meaningful political reform. Coming after national elections in November 2010, the release from house-arrest of the pro-democracy icon, Aung San Suu Kyi, and by-elections in 2012, many observers are concluding that Myanmar is finally embarking on a process of genuine democratisation. Aung San Suu Kyi is among those who have expressed optimism over future changes in the country, with her confidence bolstered by the release of hundreds of political prisoners in recent months. As ties with Western governments slowly thaw, there is now a high probability that sanctions and other restrictions on trade and investment will be lifted over the next year or so, and foreign investors are taking note of the opportunities that could soon present themselves.
  • Topic: Democratization, Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Treaties and Agreements
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Fossil fuels will continue to dominate China's energy mix, although renewable energy will carve out a bigger role. The large market for clean technology that this provides will give succour to firms in the sector—those, that is, that are able to survive their present difficulties.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, International Trade and Finance, Oil, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: China
  • Publication Date: 05-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: The loosening of administrative restrictions on licensing and related remittances in 1991 led to an increase in the number of international licensing agreements in India. Many foreign companies involved in India use a combination of exporting, licensing and direct investment.
  • Topic: Corruption, Crime, Industrial Policy, Intellectual Property/Copyright, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: South Asia, India
  • Publication Date: 06-2012
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: The global economy remains in precarious shape. Europe's debt crisis rages on, and although the euro appears to have survived its most recent test in the form of the Greek election on June 17th, austerity and financial-market uncertainty are depressing economic activity in Europe and, by extension, in much of the rest of the world. The Economist Intelligence Unit continues to expect global GDP growth to slow in 2012, and while our forecasts for the G3 economies—the US, euro zone and China—are essentially unchanged this month, we have cut our projections for Brazil and India.
  • Topic: Debt, Economics, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Financial Crisis
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Europe, India, Brazil
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Global food prices rose twice as fast as inflation in the last decade, impoverishing millions at a time when poverty relief captured the world's attention. Huge price swings for wheat, maize, soybeans and rice—staple crops for much of the world—made matters worse, disrupting markets and harming both producers and consumers. The food riots that swept more than two dozen countries in 2008 and 2011 were the most visible effect of these trends, but they also point to a deeper and more lasting concern: chronic food insecurity.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Poverty, Food
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Earlier this year the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) teamed up with data sharing company BuzzData to host a competition offering users the opportunity to combine data from the Worldwide Cost of Living and Liveability surveys with other sources to provide a ranking of their own. Here Jon Copestake, the Editor of the EIU's Cost of Living and Liveability surveys, discusses his experience of the competition.
  • Topic: Demographics, International Trade and Finance, Culture, Urbanization
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: The rise and decline of great cities past was largely based on their ability to draw the ambitious and the restless from other places. China's cities are on the rise. Their growth has been fuelled both by the large-scale internal migration of those seeking better lives and by government initiatives encouraging the expansion of urban areas. The government hopes that the swelling urban populace will spend more in a more highly concentrated retail environment, thereby helping to rebalance the Chinese economy towards private consumption.
  • Topic: Communism, Demographics, Development, Economics, Migration, Urbanization
  • Political Geography: China, Israel
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: The International Energy Agency speculates that we could be entering a “golden age of gas.” If that is the case Australia is set to be a key contributor to it. While much attention has been paid to the shale gas boom in North America and prospects for the spread of the “shale gas revolution” elsewhere, Australia has been positioning itself to emerge as a leading player in the global liquefied natural gas (LNG) market by the end of this decade.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: Australia, Australia/Pacific, North America
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Ten years ago, The Economist ran a cover with the title “Africa: The Hopeless Continent”. Today, this has been replaced by “Africa Rising” (last December's issue)—a reflection of the changes that the continent has experienced over a decade. What has engineered Africa's rise through difficult times? It is predominantly the emergence of the BRICs, particularly India and China, that has helped to put Africa back on the map of development and investor interests.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Foreign Direct Investment
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, India
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: The concept of liveability is simple: it assesses which locations around the world provide the best or the worst living conditions. Assessing liveability has a broad range of uses, from benchmarking perceptions of development levels to assigning a hardship allowance as part of expatriate relocation packages. The Economist Intelligence Unit's liveability rating quantifies the challenges that might be presented to an individual's lifestyle in any given location, and allows for direct comparison between locations.
  • Topic: Development, Globalization, Infrastructure, Financial Crisis, Urbanization
  • Publication Date: 09-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Banks in emerging markets are increasingly weighty in global finance and still enjoy plenty of room to grow in their home markets. But they will do so in innovative ways that set them apart from the lenders of the developed world.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets, Globalization, Science and Technology
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: The last few years have presented a series of challenges and learning opportunities for the microfinance sector. During the last few decades the microfinance industry experienced substantial growth, but eventually this resulted in market saturation, a rise of The last few years have presented a series of challenges and learning opportunities for the microfinance sector. During the last few decades the microfinance industry experienced substantial growth, but eventually this resulted in market saturation, a rise of non-performing loans and multiple lending across a few key markets. The global financial crisis then increased the focus on risk management, corporate governance and regulatory capacity. Most recently, the Andhra Pradesh microfinance credit crisis that unfolded in India has raised serious questions about the viability of microfinance as a valid development modality.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance, Poverty, Financial Crisis, Governance
  • Political Geography: Andhra Pradesh
  • Author: Martin Adams
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: The bulk of the world's proven oil reserves are concentrated in places that are hostile to the West, unstable or a combination of the two. Since the US is the world's largest importer of oil, concerns about energy security have long simmered in Washington. On top of this, global oil prices have hit new highs in recent years and remained persistently strong. This adds to anxieties about the security of energy supplies and places a burden on the US economy. Partly as a result of elevated prices, however, something new—and, arguably, revolutionary—has happened.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Economics, Energy Policy, International Trade and Finance, Oil, Natural Resources
  • Political Geography: United States, North America
  • Publication Date: 10-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: On November 8th this year China will begin the once-a-decade process of changing its leaders, with the launch of the 18th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). This will, by coincidence, come just two days after the US presidential elections. Both events will have momentous repercussions, both for the countries involved and for the world, but they will mark a study in contrasts. Unlike the US, China's succession battles are being waged in near secrecy, yet observers are already sure who the next president and premier will be. Less clear is what exactly China's new leadership will stand for. This report will examine their backgrounds and policy positions, asking what we can expect from the incoming administration.
  • Topic: Communism, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy, Governance
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Publication Date: 11-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Markets of the future—China, India, Brazil and Russia—will become the dominant retail markets l Africa, the final frontier—as BRIC opportunities diminish retailers will look to Africa as a driver of growth l Virtual marketplace— e-commerce, m-commerce and s-commerce—will transform the global retail landscape l Bricks and mortar will fight back as traditional retailers respond to change by integrating online with physical store offerings l Convenience will be king as shopping habits evolve into a multichannel approach rather than “one-stop shopping” l UK focus: polarised shopping habits could continue even when incomes recover, leading to an even greater squeeze on mid-market retail by 2022.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Science and Technology, Communications
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, United Kingdom, India, Brazil
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: Last year we published Industries in 2012 and made a number of predictions about developments in our six key industries – Automotive, Consumer Goods and Retail, Energy, Financial Services, Healthcare and Telecommunications. Some of our predictions were prescient, others were premature.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance, Markets, Global Recession
  • Publication Date: 12-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: In 2012 Western sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran's oil and gas industry, aimed at putting economic pressure on it to change its nuclear policy, have reached an unprecedented level. Since the Iranian revolution in 1979, Iran has been in a state of hostility with the US, and has had cool relations, at best, with most European states. Sanctions against official Iranian financial institutions, individuals associated with the Islamic Republic and organisations suspected of being involved in nuclear proliferation activities have been mounting for some time. However, it is only recently that Iran's oil and gas sector has been specifically targeted by both the US and the EU in such a co-ordinated manner. Importantly, this marks the first time since the foundation of the Islamic Republic of Iran that the EU member states have collectively put in place sanctions on the export of Iranian crude oil—until now an action that, with a few exceptions, had only been taken by the US. The stakes have therefore been raised in Iran's confrontation with Western powers over the nuclear issue.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Islam, Oil, Sanctions
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Iran, Middle East
  • Publication Date: 02-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: The concept of liveability is simple: it assesses which locations around the world provide the best or the worst living conditions. Assessing liveability has a broad range of uses, from benchmarking perceptions of development levels to assigning a hardship allowance as part of expatriate relocation packages. The Economist Intelligence Unit's liveability rating quantifies the challenges that might be presented to an individual's lifestyle in any given location, and allows for direct comparison between locations. Every city is assigned a rating of relative comfort for over 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across five broad categories: stability; healthcare; culture and environment; education; and infrastructure. Each factor in a city is rated as acceptable, tolerable, uncomfortable, undesirable or intolerable. For qualitative indicators, a rating is awarded based on the judgment of in-house analysts and in-city contributors. For quantitative indicators, a rating is calculated based on the relative performance of a number of external data points. The scores are then compiled and weighted to provide a score of 1–100, where 1 is considered intolerable and 100 is considered ideal. The liveability rating is provided both as an overall score and as a score for each category. To provide points of reference, the score is also given for each category relative to New York and an overall position in the ranking of 140 cities is provided.
  • Topic: Economics, Education, Environment, Health, Infrastructure
  • Political Geography: New York
  • Author: Kilbinder Dosanjh
  • Publication Date: 03-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Economist Intelligence Unit
  • Abstract: The human cost Many companies (Sony, Toyota) have shut factories in affected area As much as 10% of national power production temporarily down Rolling blackouts will continue until end-April.
  • Topic: Economics, Humanitarian Aid, Natural Disasters
  • Political Geography: Japan, Israel, Asia