Economics & Strategy: Economics – First
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Economics & Strategy: Economics – First

Ruling the roost for a second consecutive year — and for the fourth time in five years — is Morgan Stanley’s five-member squad conducted by 54-year-old Gray Newman in New York.

Gray Newman & team Morgan Stanley


The buy side says: “He does not simply present a view, he stimulates creative discussions.”


Ruling the roost for a second consecutive year — and for the fourth time in five years — is Morgan Stanley’s five-member squad conducted by 54-year-old Gray Newman in New York. The economists “have a steady hand — in markets with great volatility, they develop economic forecasts and views that set the debate rather than chase the latest data,” asserts one portfolio manager. The financial reforms that new president Enrique Peña Nieto has promised for Mexico should, the troop believes, bolster that country’s currency, which in mid-July stood at 13.38 to the dollar. “We expect the Mexican peso to strengthen to 12.40 in 2013, in line with our view of Mexico’s Moment,” Newman says. “I suspect that we are on the eve of the most promising opportunity that Mexico has seen in more than a decade to restart the reform agenda process, and I have a fair amount of confidence that a major opening in at least part of Mexico’s energy sector will be in the works. A major constitutional change in the energy sector would be a narrative changer for Mexico.” The team also expects that country’s real gross domestic product growth to outpace Brazil’s next year and has a generally positive view of the region going forward. “We have Latam growing at 3.3 percent in 2013, up from our 3 percent estimate for 2012,” he adds. “The underperformers are likely to be Argentina, with growth of 0.5 percent, and Venezuela, with 2.8 percent; with outperformance by Peru, at 6.2 percent, and Colombia, at 5.2 percent.” The Morgan Stanley economists “excel in doing very rigorous research,” cheers another buy-side enthusiast. — Thomas W. Johnson


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