Forecasts Up as Trump Risks Yet Unrealized
Exports Increase as U.S. Pro-growth Policies Announced
Concerns Strong on Protectionism, Visas, Governance
The previous survey conducted in December, a month after Donald Trump's victory in the U.S. presidential election, found that the economic outlook for Asian economies had worsened. Concerns over protectionism and general uncertainty were behind this deterioration. Such "Trump risks" persisted or even increased in the March survey, but 2017 growth forecasts were revised upward for three Southeast Asian countries -- Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand. This can be attributed to brighter prospects for exports amid gathering anticipation of Mr. Trump's pro-growth policies in the short term. For real economies, the negative effects of "Trump risks" remain unrealized.
Economists share the view that protectionism, market turmoil, and U.S. monetary policy are among the biggest risks for their economies. "Rise of protectionism" was the biggest risk for Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand and the third biggest risk for the Philippines and India. Asked about the impact of President Trump's policies, doubts were raised over the ability of his administration to govern, as well as protectionism and migration policies including visa issues.
The outcome of this survey was also reported at Nikkei Asian Review. (April 11, 2017)
Special report on "20 Years Since the Asian Financial Crisis"
◆ Main points of the survey
- The weighted average of growth forecasts for the ASEAN5 in 2017 was revised upward from the previous survey by 0.1 points to 4.5%, as figures for Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand were up. Increasing exports underlie the improvements. Forecasts for Indonesia and the Philippines were unchanged at 5.2% and 6.6% respectively for 2017.
- The estimate for India for 2016/17 was revised upward, but the forecast for 17/18 was down, partly because of the unpredictable effects of demonetization. High growth rates are expected: more than 7% through 2019/20.
- U.S. President Donald Trump’s pro-growth policies were viewed positively for now. In the longer term, economists express concerns regarding protectionism, migration policies, and the administration’s ability to govern.
◆ List of survey respondents
Indonesia: Juniman, chief economist, Maybank Indonesia; Dendi Ramdani, department head of industry and regional research, Bank Mandiri; Umar Juoro, chairman, Center for Information and Development Studies; Wisnu Wardana, economist, PT Bank Danamon Indonesia
Malaysia: Suhaimi Ilias, chief economist, Maybank Investment Bank; Lim Chee Sing, chief economist, RHB Research Institute; Wan Suhaimie Saidie, head of economic research, Kenanga IB
Philippines: Alvin Ang, director of economic research, Ateneo de Manila University; Jonathan L. Ravelas, FVP chief market strategist, BDO Unibank; Pauline Revillas, research analyst, Metropolitan Bank & Trust; Jojo Gonzales, head of research, Philippine Equity Partners; Jose Cuyegkeng, senior economist, ING Bank; Angelo Taningco, economist, Security Bank; Victor A. Abola, senior economist, University of Asia and the Pacific
Singapore: Manu Bhaskaran, CEO, Centennial Asia Advisors; Randolph Tan, associate professor, Singapore University of Social Sciences; Yuma Tsuchiya, senior economist, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ
Thailand: Phacharaphot Nuntramas, senior vice president, Siam Commercial Bank Economic Intelligence Center; Nattaporn Triratanasirikul, head of research group, Kasikornbank; Thammarat Kittisiripat, vice president, KT Zmico Securities; Tim Leelahaphan, assistant vice president, Maybank Kim Eng Securities; Somprawin Manprasert, chief economist, Bank of Ayudhya; Nalin Chutchotitham, Thiland economist, HSBC
India: Kentaro Konishi, president and CEO, Daiwa Capital Markets; Rajiv Kumar, senior fellow, Centre for Policy Research; Dharmakirti Joshi, chief economist, Crisil; Sonal Varma, chief India economist, Nomura India; Tirthankar Patnaik, Assistant General Manager, Chief Strategist & Head of Reserch, India, Mizuho Bank Limited
For multiple countries: Euben Paracuelles, senior economist, Nomura Singapore; David Fernandez, managing director, Barclays Bank Singapore; Edward Lee, Head of Regional Research, ASEAN,Standard Charterd; Goldman Sachs; Arup Raha, group chief economist, CIMB Group
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