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

    Escalation of Media Crackdown in Turkey Heightens Concerns

    Critics see 'a new dark age' as arrests of journalists, closures of media outlets by Erdogan government mount

    Russia Boasts of Troop Buildup on Flank, Draws Flak

    Russian military moves counter to efforts to de-escalate tensions, State Department says

    Video Iraqis Primed to March on Mosul, Foreign Minister Says

    Iraqi FM Ibrahim al-Jaafari tells VOA the campaign will meet optimistic expectations, even though US officials remain cautious

    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.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora