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Country risk March 2000: Commodity prices boost emerging markets

The last six months have seen a marked turnaround for the world economy. A year ago the larger emerging-market countries were falling in the rankings as investors lost confidence in Brazil, Russia and other crisis-ridden giants. This year favourable commodity prices, better risk management and buoyant developed country economies point to better times ahead. There are some big winners in the latest Euromoney country risk ranking. Research by Andrew Newby.

For historical country risk data please visit the Euromoney Country risk website

The global economy is in good shape. Big gains in this year's first Euromoney country risk survey are made by sub-Saharan Africa, most oil-producing countries and also northern European countries. Robust commodity prices lift Madagascar and Tanzania by 44 and 34 places respectively. The benefits of higher commodity revenues are widespread: 29 of the top 50 biggest climbers in the latest survey are African. As presidential elections approach, Russia rises 20 places thanks to recovering oil prices, the impact of the rouble devaluation on imports, and progress in the London club talks on restructuring of its commercial bank debts.

Scandinavian countries also score well in the survey and are showing very healthy growth and low inflation. Central Europe disappoints but may yet have a good year ahead if the western European economy maintains its strong growth rate and increases imports from the region.

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