Graphic: BUSINESSLIVE
Graphic: BUSINESSLIVE

South Africa has been very proud of its membership of Brics — the acronym for the group of countries, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

But, even as it was hosting the recent Brics summit, it began to be associated with a less encouraging acronym — BRATS, which stands for Brazil, Russia, Argentina, Turkey and South Africa.

While a place at the Brics table, allows South Africa to punch above its weight with some of the world's most populous and powerful countries, BRATS is supposed to be less flattering.

It describes the group of countries believed to be in danger of an emerging-market meltdown. All these countries have suffered currency weakness and economic problems in recent times.

But, is the use of a new acronym justified? The chart below shows that the four countries with the biggest currency losses over the last month are, in fact, all members of Brics.

Graphic: TRADINGECONOMICS.COM
Graphic: TRADINGECONOMICS.COM

Then again, a new acronym gives economists something to do while waiting for the next US jobs report.


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