Market monitor: Ghana

Ghana’s economy, the biggest in West Africa after Nigeria, has benefited from two decades of political and economic stability; discovery and extraction of natural resources; and a competitive business environment.

Market monitor: Senegal

Senegal is one of Africa’s most stable democracies, with a history of acting as a regional mediator and peacekeeper. It’s never had a military overthrow of the government, setting it apart from most countries in the West African Economic and Monetary Union, a group of eight French-speaking nations that use a common currency pegged to the euro. Senegal’s gross domestic product of $14 billion makes it the second-largest economy in the union after Ivory Coast.

Market monitor: Ecuador

Oil is king in the Ecuadorean economy, making up more than half of the country’s export earnings. In 2011, growth hit 7.8% before slowing as oil prices dropped worldwide. The government expects to report 2013 growth of between 3.7% and 4%.

Market monitor: Turkey

Turkey learned from its severe fiscal crisis in 2001. Since then, the country’s fiscal and free-market overhauls have ushered in nearly uninterrupted expansion while lowering debt. The reforms, combined with foreign investment, pushed gross domestic product growth to a peak of 9.2% in 2010. In 2011, growth was 8.2%, and in 2012, it registered a much more modest 3%.

Market monitor: Ukraine

While Ukraine is intent on maintaining its independence from Russia, it is dependent on expensive gas imports from its eastern neighbor. The high cost of gas and oil, coupled with the sluggish global demand for steel, Ukraine’s top export, has left the economy weak. Growth in 2012 was only 0.2%, and the economy is predicted to grow no more than 1.5% this year.

Market monitor: Thailand

Thailand’s export and tourism-fueled economy remains steady, despite violent political protests in 2010 and severe flooding that crippled manufacturing in late 2011. Gross domestic product grew 5.5% in 2012.

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