May 2018: Country Insight Update

12 touko 2018

Welcome to the latest issue of D&B's Country Insight Update.

The risk of all-out trade wars receded during April but nevertheless remains a cause for concern. Negotiations between the US and China, the two main headline-grabbers, are due in May, which could lead to a delay or a de-escalation of the tit-for-tat imposition of tariffs between the two countries. In addition, the renegotiation of NAFTA has taken on a more conciliatory approach, particularly in respect of the automotive and agribusiness sectors. Furthermore, the EU and Mexico have upgraded their trade pact. However, we assume that Mexico, Canada, Brazil and the EU may have to decide as early as June how to respond to the unilateral imposition of steel and aluminium tariffs by the US after the expiry of their temporary waivers.

In addition, US sanctions on Russia, in particular the aluminium producer Rusal, saw aluminium prices fluctuate wildly in April, raising concerns about other commodity prices. Unrelatedly, crude oil prices continued to strengthen through April, hitting over USD75 per barrel in spot trading sessions – the highest level in 42 months. While this will benefit oil-producing/-exporting countries, it will stretch the current accounts of oil-dependent countries such as Turkey and India. Meanwhile, global debt levels (corporate, household and public) are now higher than prior to the global financial crisis, at over 225% of global GDP, leading the IMF to issue a warning in its latest Fiscal Monitor.

This complimentary newsletter from D&B's Country Insight Services group has been put together by their team of experts using the most up-to-date information to provide a snapshot of the latest macro market risk situation, and provides an excellent overview for those exposed to cross-border credit or investment risks.

D&B Country Insight Snapshots

Designed with the help of our customers these reports build on the key areas assessed by 'D&B's Country Insight Model' and deliver a perfect balance between mitigating risk exposure and providing insight into new opportunities.


Martin Vizcarra’s presidency could help restore some much-needed stability.

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Hong Kong (S.A.R)

Violent attacks prompt an island-wide state of emergency.

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Dun & Bradstreet upgrades its rating outlook for the UK from 'deteriorating' to 'stable'.

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