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Regional economies primed for upside surprise

Manu Bhaskaran
Manu Bhaskaran9/15/2017 09:24 AM GMT+08  • 9 min read
Regional economies primed for upside surprise
SINGAPORE (Sept 11): Asian economic growth is set to accelerate. After a long period of patchy and unconvincing recovery, there are signs that the global rebound is gaining enough traction to be a durable one. Better still, this upward lift is supporting
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SINGAPORE (Sept 11): Asian economic growth is set to accelerate. After a long period of patchy and unconvincing recovery, there are signs that the global rebound is gaining enough traction to be a durable one. Better still, this upward lift is supporting higher export growth in Asia. More encouragingly, domestic engines of growth also seem to be regaining some vigour. Overall, this means that the regional economies have more buffers and so could be more resilient against political or other shocks that financial markets are currently worried about.

Global demand offering more durable boost to Asian exports

Encouragingly, this global recovery is now feeding more palpably into Asian export growth. Korean exports — a bellwether for global demand — grew by an average of around 18% in July-August. Malaysia just reported that exports in July surged 31%. Better still, the brighter prospects for exports are translating into stronger industrial production. In Singapore, industrial production soared 21% in July, one of the highest growth rates the country has enjoyed in five years. Growth appears to have continued into August when Singapore’s Purchasing Managers’ Index reached its highest level in three years while the electronics index has not seen such high levels since November 2010. In Malaysia, surveys of purchasing managers show that higher export demand has boosted optimism among manufacturers to its highest level since December 2013.

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