The Philippine economy has defied the naysayers, continuing to grow at a rapid pace that has placed it as Southeast Asia's fastest growing nation. Encouragingly, the Duterte Administration’s respected economic policy team has built on past reforms to introduce new initiatives to strengthen the base for future growth. However, while President Duterte remains popular and retains the political init
Love it or hate it, Asia is inextricably tied into the US and however much China has grown in importance, it is still the US which will be the principal driver of Asia’s fortunes in the next few years. The good news is that the American economy appears poised for a strong pickup, one which will give a nice boost to the Asian economies. But beyond that cyclical bounce, several things could go wro
Singapore has received some much-needed good economic news of late, with economic growth and exports surprising to the upside. However, the external environment could grow more challenging if protectionism and populism do take root in key markets. Two major policy initiatives by the government have been released recently - the report of the Committee for the Future Economy (CFE) and the budget sta
Indonesia has been and remains a good story among large emerging economies. However, the news flow has fallen a tad short of expectations of late. Indonesia's economy grew by about 5% in 2016, rising from 4.8% in 2015 but below the 6%-type rates experienced in 2010-2012 which had raised hopes that Indonesia could enjoy an acceleration in economic growth to above 7%. In addition, foreign investors
President Donald Trump came to power vowing to shake things up. It is clear from his inaugural address, the composition of his cabinet and his comments in press interviews that he meant what he said. There will be seismic changes in American policies on trade, security alliances, energy and climate policies - and many of these will cause ructions in Asia. Trade will be a major risk for Asia
Two elements have been missing in the recovery of the US economy from the 2008 crisis - strong wage growth and renewed capital spending by businesses. Of these two, there are encouraging signs that wage growth is finally gaining some traction: the job market is clearly tightening and wages are firming in response. However, there are still only tentative - and not entirely convincing - indications
- Global economy: Latest data continues to suggest the US economy has fundamentally recovered. This could be cause for the Fed to tighten ahead of expectations.
- Geopolitics: Trump's first 10 days in office has brought with it proposed changes to trade, immigration and international relations. American credibility is on the line.
- Asian economies: In Asia, supportive policy actions remain key to long-term vibrancy.
- Asian politics: In India, political parties are gearing up for make-or-break legislative assembly elections.
- US President Donald Trump has officially withdrawn US from the TPP agreement. This wave of American isolationism is in stark contrast to the openness projected by China in recent weeks; China is poised to become increasingly influential in Asia.
- While existing TPP members can forge ahead and implement some sort of a TPP-lite deal without the US, countries may not be willing to open up politically sensitive sectors without commensurate economic returns that is access to the large US market.
- Export-oriented Asian economies could find it pragmatic and beneficial to establish closer economic ties with China and accept closer geostrategic relations too. Already, talks of accelerating the RCEP and even inviting China to participate in the TPP have begun.
- A recovery in global demand led by the G3 advanced economies have fed into export upturns in trade-focused East Asian economies. Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong have seen the renewed vigour in global trade leading to more robust growth.
- Furthermore, other Asian countries, such as those in Southeast Asia, will also see economic expansion being underpinned by an export upswing, chiefly in electronics and other tech components.
- There are increasing signs that suggest Malaysia could enjoy a good upside surprise to growth. There are near-term hurdles that need to be overcome, however the overall fading of negatives will alleviate strains on growth.
- Consumer psychology looks to have turned and will bolster private spending. Agricultural prospects are looking better and encouragingly, Malaysia looks to be a clear winner from the upswing in the global tech cycle.
- The risks lie in politics. With little time to remedy economic pain leading up to the general elections, rising discontent amongst voters could bring mischievous elements, such as stoking racial tensions, into play.