News / Asia

UN: Inflation Fears Continue in Asia

A Vietinbank employee counts US dollars at a currency exchange counter at the National Convention Center, the venue for the 44th annual meeting of Asian Development Bank (ADB), in Hanoi, May 5, 2011.
A Vietinbank employee counts US dollars at a currency exchange counter at the National Convention Center, the venue for the 44th annual meeting of Asian Development Bank (ADB), in Hanoi, May 5, 2011.
Ron Corben

A United Nations economic survey for Asia Pacific says the region is now a leading driver of global economic growth, continuing a dramatic recovery from last year.  U.N. economists warn that rising oil and food prices especially threaten millions of the region's poor.

U.N. economists say that although Asia continues to experience robust regional growth, there are still fears of rising inflation through food and fuel prices.

The annual survey released Thursday by the U.N.'s Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) forecasts growth at more than seven percent for major developing economies across the region. Economists say India and Indonesia's booming economies lead Asia, buoyed by their "robust consumption and investment".

Growth forecast

China's economy is forecast to grow by more than nine percent due to government efforts to shift the economy to greater domestic consumption.

UNESCAP chief economist, Nagesh Kumar says foreign speculators drawn to Asia's high growth rates are contributing to higher inflation. The foreign inflows have led to excessive investment in areas such as property leading to vulnerable asset bubbles.

Food, fuel crisis

Nagesh says the greatest fear is a return of a similar food and fuel crisis that occurred in 2008. The report says food price have risen by up to 35 per cent across several countries.

"The key downside ... the major challenge that the region is facing is arising from the inflationary pressures which are largely driven by the dramatic rise of food and oil prices since August 2010," said Nagesh. "We find that if oil prices continue to rise it could affect the growth outlook by one percent in the region."

The survey warns that the high food and fuel prices could mean that 42 million additional people across Asia and the Pacific remain in poverty, on top of the 19 million affected in 2010.

Across the region there are more than 950 million people living on less than $1.25 a day. The report says expanding consumption through higher wages; better employment opportunities and expanding social protection programs are needed to boost domestic growth.

Japan

The report also evaluates Japan's economy following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

UNESCAP economists says while Japan's economy faces great uncertainty, the quake's economic toll be short term with some boost from reconstruction efforts later.

U.N. economists also called on the world's major economies to help the situation in Asia, by acting decisively to moderate volatile oil and food prices. Economists recommended regulating commodity markets to reduce speculation and to "discipline" industries that convert food into biofuels.

You May Like

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra 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.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid