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Counting the Cost

Are emerging economies in decline?

As emergency meetings take place and currencies feel the strain, we ask if this is the start of a new world order.

Last updated: 01 Feb 2014 07:45
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Emerging economies are now discovering that the bigger the up, the steeper the down.

A number of global currencies have been routed over the past week, triggered in part by the US Federal Reserve pulling back on its stimulus programme. The US lopped another $10bn off that, bringing it down to $60bn a month - a 25 percent reduction from its peak.

Several countries raised interest rates, trying to stabilise their economies: Turkey was the most aggressive with a 4.25 percent hike up to 12 percent; South Africa went up half a percent to five percent; India surprised with a 0.25 percent increase, as it tries to battle inflation; and in Argentina the peso has fallen so badly against the dollar that they have used up 20 percent of their foreign reserves in just a month trying to shore up the currency.

The rise and fall of Turkey?

Turkey's buoyant economy is under threat from a steep slide in the value of the Turkish lira. It has sunk 17 percent in the last month, putting at its lowest level against the dollar and euro in decades.

The effects on Turkey's new consumer society are already being felt - foreign imports are more expensive, inflation is set to rise, businesses are struggling to pay foreign debt, and this could all potentially translate into unemployment.

Financial analysts say Turkey should have been better prepared for the slowdown. But is there an easy way for the country to avoid the looming crisis?

A Latin American case - Argentina

Argentina's economic troubles are unlikely to end anytime soon. Government spending is fuelling inflation, which is now running at close to 30 percent, and the local currency (the Argentine peso) is so unpopular among its citizens that one in every $10 held outside the US is owned by Argentinians - that is a staggering $50bn.

So what is next for Argentina? And can the people trust their currency and government again?

Philippines: A case of success?

In the last two years, the Philippines has seen its strongest growth since the 1950s. Even Typhoon Haiyan only slightly dented growth.
 
But as impressive as it has all been, not everybody is enjoying the benefits.

Millions of Filipinos continue to leave the country in search of higher paying jobs overseas. They make up about 10 percent of the population and have now become the backbone of the country's economy. Overseas Filipino workers send home an average of $21bn every year.

President Benigno Aquino estimates that the country will enjoy 6.8 percent growth this year, and some consider it one of the rising tiger economies in South East Asia. But many are sceptical.

Local surveys show that around half of the country's population believe the quality of life has worsened.

So, how long will it take for those at the bottom of the economic food chain to see the benefits?

Watch each week at the following times GMT: Friday: 2230; Saturday: 0930; Sunday: 0330; Monday: 1630.  Click here  for more  Counting the Cost .

Follow Kamahl Santamaria  @KamahlAJE  and business editor Abid Ali @abidoliverali 

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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