SINGAPORE (Sept 3): In the past year, the global environment for Asian economies has grown ever more uncertain. The outlook for critically important drivers of Asia’s well-being — demand for its exports, prices of oil and other key commodities, geopolitical pressures, the functioning of the trade regime — are all subject to greater unpredictability. It might be useful therefore to identify the most important variables affecting the region’s prospects and work out as best as we can where each is headed.

What emerges from this analysis is that pressures are building up in key areas. These are likely to trigger events that will increase the downside risks for the region.

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