News / Asia

Economists See Asia’s Growth Slowing

As Asian countries closely monitor whether lawmakers in Washington will agree on a plan to raise the debt ceiling, there are some signs of a slowdown in one bellwether Asian economy.

Singapore reported a sharp slump in the second quarter, but economists are hopeful about longer-term prospects. Despite the budget standoff in Washington, Asia stocks on Friday were largely mixed.

In Seoul, Finance Minister Bahk Jae-wan, speaking through a translator, told Reuters he expects Washington to find a solution before the August 2 debt ceiling deadline.

"We are not at a stage at all, at which we need to consider steps such as [reviving] a currency swap with the U.S," he said.

South Korea holds large amounts of dollars in its exchange reserves. During the global financial crisis a few years ago, the United States and other governments used currency swaps, exchanges of reserves, to help steady financial systems.

There are signs that Japan’s earthquake and tsunami and Europe’s debt crisis are hurting Asian economies this year.

In Singapore, industrial production and gross domestic product growth slumped to an annualized half-a-percent in the second quarter, down from more than nine percent in the first three months of the year.

Economists blame disruptions in Japan’s global supply chain after the earthquake in March. The Bank of Japan this week marked down its growth outlook because of the quake.

The European debt crisis and the weak economic performance in the United States have reduced the outlook for Asia’s exports. Most Asian economies rely heavily on exports for growth.

Brian Redican, senior economist with Macquarie Bank Group in Australia, says while Singapore’s slowdown is an indicator for Asia in the near term, he expects a recovery later in the year.

“Singapore does tend to lead Asian economies," he said. "You will start to see that reflected in other Asian economies over the next couple of months. But we don’t think that the downturn in Singapore so far will continue into the end of the year. As we head toward December, Singapore should actually be emerging quite quickly from this temporary slowdown.”

Redican and other economists say China and India’s growth will bolster Asian economies.

There are signs that China’s industrial production and investment are slowing slightly, which some economists say is a good thing because it means efforts to cut inflation are working.

Redican says China’s outlook is positive.

“We still think we’re getting a slowdown within China, and again that’s probably [going to] remain in place for the next six months or so. But it’s not occurring too quickly and that should provide a good deal of reassurance that the largest economy in the region is going to remain quite strong,” Redican says.

In Thailand, market analysts expect newly elected Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to use new government spending programs to boost growth.

Economists say, however, that higher inflation and interest rates could strengthen the Thai currency and undermine export growth.

You May Like

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan

Ninety percent of world’s heroin comes from Afghanistan More

Here's Your Chance to Live in a Deserted Shopping Mall

About one-third of the 1200 enclosed malls in the US are dead or dying. Here's what's being done with them. More

Video NASA: Big Antarctica Ice Shelf Is Disintegrating

US space agency’s new study indicates Larsen B shelf could break up in just a few years More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriagei
X
May 21, 2015 4:14 AM
The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.
Video

Video Women to March for Peace Between Koreas

Prominent female activists from around the world plan to march through the demilitarized zone dividing North and South Korea to call for peace between the two neighbors, divided for more than 60 years. The event, taking place May 24, marks the International Women's Day for Peace and Disarmament and has been approved by both Koreas. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan Following Record High Poppy Crops

Afghanistan has seen record high poppy crops during the last few years - and the result has been an alarming rise in illegal drug use and addiction in the war-torn country. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem has this report from Kabul.
Video

Video America’s Front Lawn Gets Overhaul

America’s front yard is getting a much-needed overhaul. Almost two kilometers of lawn stretch from the U.S. Capitol to the Washington Monument. But the expanse of grass known as the National Mall has taken a beating over the years. Now workers are in the middle of restoring the lush, green carpet that fronts some of Washington’s best-known sights. VOA’s Steve Baragona took a look.

VOA Blogs