Asia Economic Outlook Begins to Stabilise

Consensus Forecasts

Fourth quarter national accounts data have now been released for the majority of countries in the Asia Pacific region, and recent GDP readings show that growth is starting to firm across the region. Both Hong Kong and Taiwan saw activity stage a moderate recovery, while Singapore’s final GDP release was upgraded from 1.1% to 1.5%. In other parts of emerging Asia, the economies of Indonesia and the Philippines continued to show vigour in the final months of 2012. And in the case of Malaysia, the robust growth trend witnessed throughout last year picked up pace further after real GDP growth accelerated to 6.4% (y-o-y) in the final quarter. Most surprising, though, was the 18.9% (y-o-y) expansion posted by the Thai economy. Favourable base effects no doubt played a part in elevating Q4 GDP, but soaring manufacturing output, together with strong growth in consumption and investment also played a part. Given the latest GDP report, the economy looks to have fully recovered from 2011’s flood disaster.

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