Saturday, August 11th 2012 - 11:26 UTC

“Two tough years” ahead for Uruguayan construction and real estate

The Uruguayan construction industry faces tough years ahead because of the international crisis and its effects on neighbouring Argentina, forecasted economist Jorge Caumont who is also an advisor of several real estate agents.

Economist Caumont anticipates a strong devaluation of the Argentine currency

“The Argentine investors who have been the engine for the boom in the Uruguayan construction industry and real estate market will disappear as a consequence of the situation in their country; it’s hard to see Argentine and Brazilian investments arriving in Uruguay in the near future”, said Caumont during a conference organized by the Uruguayan real estate chamber and the HSBC bank.

This situation, he added will have a negative impact on both activities mainly in Punta del Este, Uruguay’s international resort, and in the capital Montevideo, “and we should see the deterioration begin at the end of the year of half way through next year”.

Caumont also make a quick reference to the challenges facing the Uruguayan economy in this scenario and forecasted an economic deceleration in the coming twelve months, because of a drop in foreign demand and less inflow of capital.

And with a US dollar strengthening worldwide, “if we don’t devalue we are going to have problems because it erodes competitiveness with the rest of the world and this will be felt in our exports”.

He anticipated that inflation with be above target (4% to 6% annually) and is inclined to believe it will be closer to 8.7% in 2012 and 8.5% in 2013. “Global interest rates will continue to be low but there will be a retraction in world and (Uruguayan) domestic demand”.

But Caumont was merciless with Argentina: their economy is heading for a “very strong recession, high inflation, serious trade problems and even more in the money exchange markets”. He forecasted that before the end of the year Argentina will have to devalue the Peso in at least 30%.

However in the event of such a scenario the economist said that the Argentine devaluation should not have a great impact on the Uruguayan money exchange market since the government has sufficient international reserves, if needed to contain the market and avoid extreme situations. Caumont estimates that the US dollar will end 2012 close to 22.50 Uruguayan Pesos and in 2013 it could reach 23.50 Pesos.

As to Brazil, it will reduce purchases of goods and services in Uruguay which will also impact tourism. “We can expect to see a significance retraction in the purchase of land holdings, housing and companies in which Brazilian investors were involved”.

As to Uruguayan labour costs, Caumont said that even when the country currently has a very low unemployment rate, nevertheless in the last two months the rate climbed 0.7%. He also cautioned that the new round of salaries’ negotiations could complicate things, since strong labour unions will press for percentages higher than those companies are prepared to pay given the growing global uncertainty.

Finally Caumont said in his opinion to moderate extreme impacts the government will again increase public spending, as it did in the previous elections. General elections in Uruguay are scheduled for October 2014.
 

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1 ChrisR (#) Aug 11th, 2012 - 01:03 pm Report abuse
Another 'economist' who wants to devalue the UYU Pesos to boost exports.

What exports? Agricultural products mostly which are traded in USD.

ALL his suggestions (and let's hope no-one in the government listens to him) will do is make things more expensive for the average Uruguayo. No doubt this 'expert' can afford the inceases.

Never forget how you can tell a room full of economists. If there are X number of them and you ask a simple question about the economy you will get AT LEAST two times X as the answer. Typically, it's 'well it will be this OR on the other hand it could be that'.
2 KretinaK (#) Aug 11th, 2012 - 02:01 pm Report abuse
The reality is NOBODY wants products manufactured in Argentina. The quality of Argentine produced products is laughable. The appliances both small and large last about 3 months until they break down. Cheap, shoddy materials, and the designs look like things that I found in my grandmothers basement in 1960. So if you like cheap, retro imitations that don't funcion and need to be constantly fixed, then go for the Argie junk. The factory workers work about 5 hours per day, for inflated salaries, and if their boss asks them to do anything they complain to the union shop steward, who files a lawsuit or calls a strike against the factory owner. This is how Argentina works! It's the biggest failed experiment ever, called the “República Argentina” that is ruled by the criminal Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner (a/k/a scrotum neck) that has stolen BILLIONS of dollars from the Argentine people, tries everything in her power to squash her detractors, silence the press, opress the citizens, steal their money with extorsive and invented taxes, it's well known that she never even finished her law degree but says she is a a lawyer, her children the horribly ugly Florencia and pudgy fat Maximo have high ranking government positions but have never set foot in a university, a vice-president Amado Boudou who is a small time criminal mafioso who owns companies that he awards government contracts to for millions - Argentina is a bastion of modern day CORRUPTION - all countries should avoid doing business with Argentina like it was a PLAGUE - this Kirchner disaster cancer must be taken down and thrown to rot in jail forever along with her cronies - down with this PERONIST garbage who talk about “social justice” and are only interested in their own power and wealth and do NOTHING for the citizens of the country but steal their hard earned money and possessions and talk about how awesome they are. Cristina Kirchner even once said that “god wanted her to be president and rule Argentina”!
3 GeoffWard2 (#) Aug 11th, 2012 - 03:05 pm Report abuse
Does anybody REALLY think that it is the effect of the world banking crisis on Argentina that is causing Uruguay's problems in construction and real-estate?
Argentina's problems are *home made*, but there is no doubt that they have a knock on effect on its smaller neighbour.

But Caumont IS WRONG in saying that the Argentina economy is heading for a “very strong recession, high inflation, serious trade problems and even more in the money exchange markets”. He forecasted that before the end of the year Argentina will have to devalue the Peso in at least 30%.

Argentina is not *heading for* these catastrophes; the Horsemen of the Apocalypse have been riding across the pampas for some time, and every one wears the same black weeds.
4 ChrisR (#) Aug 11th, 2012 - 03:20 pm Report abuse
3 GeoffWard2

Yes, but Geoff: don't forget the rider on the green horse! He IS the real baddy.
:o)
5 Ken Ridge (#) Aug 11th, 2012 - 03:32 pm Report abuse
Not to worry, old Pepe will soon boost the economy when he becomes the countries cannabis dealer. :)
6 GeoffWard2 (#) Aug 11th, 2012 - 06:17 pm Report abuse
#4
The green horse is not yet apocalyptic, it is just not yet house trained to be so. Though I have had green rumped horses, with the scours.
7 British_Kirchnerist (#) Aug 11th, 2012 - 09:11 pm Report abuse
Pepe should follow Cristina and Chavez's example and launch a house building programme
8 sammy (#) Aug 11th, 2012 - 10:54 pm Report abuse
funk it.I'm off before it's to laaaaaaaaaa
9 Conqueror (#) Aug 13th, 2012 - 05:11 pm Report abuse
Not “two tough years”. Twenty tough years. Argieland is trying to throttle Uruguay. And Pepe is doing NOTHING.
10 Guzz (#) Aug 14th, 2012 - 07:13 am Report abuse
So because Arg are stalling the dredging of Martin Garcia, it will affect Uru construction for 20 years... Conqueror, you are full of rabid mouthcrao...
11 ChrisR (#) Aug 17th, 2012 - 07:26 pm Report abuse
What this so called 'expert' did not address is the fact that confidence is missing from the market.

Who in their right mind is going to buy over the top expensive property in a falling economy (I am referring to Argentineans)?

Punte del Este is the epitomy of the property developer gone mad. Everywhere you look there are high rise apartment buildings going up and the asking prices start at USD 1 Million. Crazy, crazy people.

Why should the ordinary Uruguayo pay for this madness, let them go banrupt.

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