Asia Pacific Outlook

Real GDP growth forecasts for 2016 have been steadily declining in recent months for many countries across Asia and the Pacific. This trend continued in our February survey with expectations falling for a number of economies as end-of-year data was released and our panellists tweaked their projections accordingly. Uncertainty surrounding the Chinese economy continues to weigh on growth expectations and affect the outlook for the region as a whole. Indeed, weak global demand is reflected by the fact that several countries’ external sectors displayed subdued growth in both export and import volumes in 2015. South Korea is a country which saw a slide in growth expectations for this year. Q4 national accounts data revealed that growth lost momentum in q-o-q terms, suggesting that the effects of government stimulus measures are beginning to diminish. In other parts of Asia, countries such as Thailand are also resorting to stimulus packages to shore up activity.

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