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

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment 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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid