Front Matter

Front Matter

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
Published Date:
October 2011
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    © 2011 International Monetary Fund

    Cataloging-in-Publication Data

    Regional economic outlook. Asia and Pacific. — Washington, D.C.: International Monetary Fund, 2005-

    v. ; cm. – (World economic and financial surveys, 0258-7440)

    • Twice a year.

    • Began in 2005.

    • Some issues have also thematic titles.

    1. Economic forecasting – Asia – Periodicals. 2. Economic forecasting – Pacific Area – Periodicals. 3. Asia – Economic conditions – 1945– Periodicals. 4. Pacific Area – Economic conditions – Periodicals. 5. Economic development – Asia – Periodicals. 6. Economic development – Pacific Area – Periodicals. I. Title: Asia and Pacific. II. International Monetary Fund. III. Series: World economic and financial surveys.

    HC412.R445

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    Contents

    Definitions

    In this Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific, the following groupings are employed:

    • “ASEAN” refers to Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao P.D.R., Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

    • “East Asia” refers to China, Hong Kong SAR, Korea, and Taiwan Province of China

    • “Emerging Asia” refers to China, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan Province of China, Thailand, and Vietnam.

    • “Industrial Asia” refers to Australia, Japan, and New Zealand.

    • “South Asia” refers to Bangladesh, India, and Sri Lanka

    • “Asia” refers to ASEAN, East Asia, Industrial Asia, and South Asia.

    • “EU” refers to the European Union

    • “G-2” refers to the euro area and the United States.

    • “G-7” refers to Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

    • “G-20” refers to Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

    The following abbreviations are used:

    ASEAN

    Association of Southeast Asian Nations

    BIS

    Bank for International Settlements

    CCT programs

    conditional cash transfer programs

    CDS

    credit default swap

    CPI

    consumer price index

    ECCU

    Eastern Caribbean Currency Union

    FDI

    foreign direct investment

    FY

    fiscal year

    GDP

    gross domestic product

    GIMF model

    Global Integrated Monetary and Fiscal model

    IT

    inflation targeting

    LICs

    low-income countries

    MFI

    microfinance institution

    NDA

    net domestic assets

    NEER

    nominal effective exchange rate

    NFA

    net foreign assets

    NIE

    newly industrialized economy

    NPL

    nonperforming loan

    OECD

    Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development

    PICs

    Pacific Island countries

    PMI

    purchasing managers’ index

    REER

    real effective exchange rate

    SAAR

    seasonally adjusted at an annual rate

    SBV

    State Bank of Vietnam

    SMEs

    small and medium-sized enterprises

    SVAR

    structural vector autoregression

    TPP

    Trans-Pacific Partnership

    UNU-WIDER

    United Nations University, World Institute for Development Economics Research

    VAR

    vector autoregression

    WEO

    World Economic Outlook

    The following conventions are used:

    • In tables, a blank cell indicates “not applicable,” ellipsis points (…) indicate “not available,” and 0 or 0.0 indicates “zero” or “negligible.” Minor discrepancies between sums of constituent figures and totals are due to rounding.

    • An en dash (–) between years or months (for example, 2007–08 or January—June) indicates the years or months covered, including the beginning and ending years or months; a slash or virgule (/) between years or months (for example, 2007/08) indicates a fiscal or financial year, as does the abbreviation FY (for example, FY2009).

    • An em dash (—) indicates the figure is zero or less than half the final digit shown.

    • “Billion” means a thousand million; “trillion” means a thousand billion.

    • “Basis points” refer to hundredths of 1 percentage point (for example, 25 basis points are equivalent to ¼ of 1 percentage point).

    As used in this report, the term “country” does not in all cases refer to a territorial entity that is a state as understood by international law and practice. As used here, the term also covers some territorial entities that are not states but for which statistical data are maintained on a separate and independent basis.

    This Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific was prepared by a team coordinated by Vivek Arora and Roberto Cardarelli of the IMF’s Asia and Pacific Department, under the overall direction of Anoop Singh. Contributors include Ravi Balakrishnan, S. Pelin Berkmen, David Cowen, Sean Craig, Kessia De Leo, Nombulelo Duma, Selim Elekdag, Souvik Gupta, Fei Han, Sonali Jain-Chandra, Hye Sun Kim, W. Raphael Lam, Joedianna Mohammed, Sylwia Nowak, Ceyda Oner, Alexander Pitt, Phurichai Rungcharoenkitkul, Werner Schule, Shiyu Raj Singh, Chad Steinberg, Murtaza Syed, Patrizia Tumbarello, Olaf Unteroberdoerster, Jade Vichyanond, Yiqun Wu, Yi Xiong, and Yongzheng Yang. Jingfang Hao and Sanjeeda Munmun Haque provided research assistance. Kessia De Leo and Lesa Yee provided production assistance. Joanne Blake, Martha Bonilla and Michael Harrup of the IMF’s External Relations Department edited the volume and coordinated its publication and release. This report is based on data available as of September 27, 2011 and includes comments from other departments and some Executive Directors.

    In this version of the Asia and Pacific Regional Economic Outlook we introduced a change in format, as the analytical chapters are now shorter as they summarize the main results of research published or forthcoming in the IMF working paper series.

    Executive Summary

    The recovery in advanced economies is more sluggish than anticipated at the time of our April 2011 Asia and Pacific Regional Economic Outlook and the global outlook has become increasingly uncertain. The handover from public stimulus to private demand has stalled in the United States, and euro area financial turbulence has intensified. While the outlook for advanced economies is for a continuing, although weak, expansion over the remainder of 2011 and 2012, the risk of a renewed slowdown is greater now than six months ago, especially if structural fragilities remain unresolved.

    Growth in Asia has also moderated since the second quarter of 2011, mainly as a result of weakening external demand. Domestic demand has been generally resilient, and overheating pressures remain elevated in a number of economies, with credit growth still robust and inflation momentum generally high. In line with the weaker global outlook, growth in Asia is expected to be slightly lower in 2011–12 than forecast in April 2011, but the expansion should remain healthy, supported by domestic demand, and inflation is expected to recede modestly after peaking in 2011. Nevertheless, risks for the Asia and Pacific region are also decidedly tilted to the downside. The sell-off in Asian financial markets in August and September 2011 underscores that an escalation of euro area financial turbulence and a renewed slowdown in the United States could have severe macroeconomic and financial spillovers to Asia.

    The downside risks to growth amid persistent overheating pressures present Asian policymakers with a delicate balancing act, as they need to guard against risks to growth but also limit the adverse impact of prolonged easy financial conditions on inflation and balance sheet vulnerabilities. In economies where overheating pressures are more elevated and monetary conditions still accommodative, the return to more neutral monetary stances should continue, through both higher interest rates and more flexible exchange rates (Chapter II). However, in economies where inflation is within central banks’ target ranges and the exposure to severe external shocks is greater, a pause in monetary tightening may be warranted until the global uncertainties have lessened. Meanwhile, the normalization of fiscal policy stances should run its course: in many economies, fiscal positions remain accommodative, with structural deficits higher than their precrisis levels. If the downside risks to the global outlook were to materialize, Asian economies have the scope to reverse course and use a range of measures to cushion the impact on economic activity, as many did in response to the global crisis in 2008.

    At the same time, the weakness in global demand only confirms that Asia would greatly benefit from further progress in rebalancing growth by developing domestic sources of demand. In addition to structural reforms, this would require a reprioritization of fiscal spending, in order to create fiscal space for critical infrastructure investment and social priority expenditure. These measures would help increase domestic demand over time, as well as make the region more resilient to external shocks, and they would also help to make growth in Asia more “inclusive.” Chapter III shows that despite fast growth and progress in poverty reduction, income inequality in Asia has increased over the last decade. Measures that deepen regional financial integration would also help with rebalancing, by improving access to finance and strengthening domestic demand (Chapter IV).

    Asian low-income and Pacific Island economies face particular challenges in the near and medium term (Chapter V). In low-income countries, the fight against inflation is complicated by strong second round effects, the need to phase out subsidies, and less well anchored inflation expectations. Pacific Island economies need to undertake further structural reforms to lift potential growth.

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