International investing often begins with evaluating the country risk. This process involves looking at the risks associated with the economic, political, and business environments in a specific country. Analyzing these risks can help mitigate unexpected investment losses. Investors doing this are looking for information like:
- The economic growth for the last ten years.
- Forecast of economic growth for the next five to ten years.
- Country debt rating changes for the last 10 years.
There are a number of databases that provide data for this type of research.
BMI Research provides forecasts of economic growth and inflation, as well as historical data. Start by selecting a country of interest. The quarterly Country Forecast Report covers political risk, macroeconomic performance (outlook and forecast), the business operating environment, and more. Within the database, you can also download historical data (GDP, exchange rates, balance of payments, inflation, debt, etc.) by choosing Compare & Export Data under Data & Forecasts on the right-hand side of the screen.
CEIC and Global Financial Data both cover a wide range of international economic indicators. CEIC provides data for Brazil, China, India, Russia, and other countries on a macroeconomic scale. The data comes from the national statistical sources. To find country specific data in Global Financial Data, select GFDatabase, then select the country of interest from the country list to view the datasets available.
You can find macroeconomic reports and forecasts in EMIS for emerging market economies. This database aggregates reports from a variety of sources like Oxford Analytica. To get to the macroeconomic reports, click on the Macroeconomics tab and select Analysis/Research: Economic.
Use Thomson One (note: only works with Internet Explorer and best with versions 7-9) to find analyst reports (investment bank reports) on the country’s economy. Go to Screening & Analysis–>Research–>Research Search. In the More Options area, select Investing/Economic from the Report Type options, and choose your country as the geography.
Debt rating changes are available from Bloomberg, which is located in the Yablon Financial Resources Lab here at Lippincott or on the Forum level of JMHH.
Type the command CSDR <Go>, then search for a country. The screen shot above shows current ratings for Brazil. When you click on the name of the country you are taken to a page with more extended current ratings. Click on any rating (e.g. Moodys CC LT Foreign Curr Debt) to view the rating history.