Thailand and Russia are well placed to be among the emerging-market standouts that could beat expectations next year.
That’s according to a Bloomberg study of 17 developing markets gauging their outlook for 2021 based on 11 indicators of economic and financial performance. Thailand topped the list, owing to its solid reserves and high potential for portfolio inflows, while Russia scored No. 2 thanks to robust external accounts and a strong fiscal profile, in addition to an undervalued ruble. China scores fairly poorly given that high expectations are already baked in, while Brazil is a laggard due to a mounting fiscal deficit and debt concerns.
Many emerging market economies are poised to recoup economic losses, judging by various metrics surveyed by Bloomberg. Healthy foreign reserves, particularly in Asia, provide a cushion for external shocks, but elevated debt-to-GDP readings will be worth monitoring for stability risks.
Developing-nation assets are heading for a back-to-back winning year, thanks to unprecedented monetary and fiscal stimulus deployed to fight the pandemic. As the global recovery takes hold, and the Federal Reserve keeps interest rates low, risk appetite should continue to strengthen in 2021 amid favorable valuations and attractive real yields that lure foreign buyers.
To help pick apart which emerging markets will handle those challenges and opportunities better than their peers, here’s a deeper look at our scorecard metrics:
Covid Growth Healing
There remains a worry especially among poorer, less-developed countries that they’ll be left behind in global vaccination distribution, with producers in the U.S. and U.K. garnering much of the attention in their virus-ravaged economies. And emerging markets have certainly taken their share of hits to Covid-era growth, including those like Thailand that are especially dependent on tourism.
That said, Bloomberg surveys show that analysts are penciling in high rates of growth next year for some of those that have been hardest-hit in 2020. Each of the top five growth rates for 2021 are from Asia, led by India, China, and the Philippines.
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