Renewed Concern over Trump-Related Risks in Asia
Economists Remain Cautiously Optimistic
Asian economists continue to project bright outlooks for their economies in 2018 and beyond. Growth forecasts for major Southeast Asian countries were revised upward for 2018, reflecting strong investment and consumption as well as a continuing increase in exports. Growth in India is projected to go up in 2018/19 to more than 7%, recovering from the 6% level in the previous fiscal year, when the economy temporarily stagnated ahead of the introduction of a new tax system. Despite general optimism, economists express renewed concern over the negative impact of U.S. President Donald Trump's policies. Rising protectionism was seen as the greatest risk throughout the region for the first time in a year according to our scoring system. Economists also cited worries related to financial turmoil triggered by his policies.
The outcome of this survey was also reported at Nikkei Asian Review. (April 10, 2018)
◆ Main points of the survey
- The weighted average of growth forecasts for the ASEAN5 in 2018 was revised upward from the previous survey by 0.1 points to 5.0% as figures for Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand were up. Investment and consumption are expected to be strong. The growth of exports could moderate, but is likely to stay firm.
- The growth projection for India in 2018/19 was 7.4%, up 0.7 points from the estimate of 6.7% in 2017/18, when the economy temporarily stagnated. The 2018/19 figure was unchanged from the previous survey.
- Rise of protectionism was seen as the biggest risk in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia and India as well as in the combined score of the six countries according to the JCER scoring system.
◆ List of survey respondents
Indonesia: Juniman, chief economist, Maybank Indonesia; Dendi Ramdani, head of industry and regional research department, Bank Mandiri; Umar Juoro, chairman, CIDES (Center for Information and Development Studies); Wisnu Wardana, economist, PT Bank Danamon Indonesia
Malaysia: Suhaimi Ilias, group chief economist, Maybank Investment Bank; Vincent Loo Yeong Hong, senior manager, RHB Research Institute Sdn Bhd; Wan Suhaimie Saidie, head, economics department, Kenanga Investment Bank; Anthony Dass, chief economist, AmBank Research; Manokaran Mottain, chief economist, Alliance Bank
Philippines: Alvin Ang, director, Ateneo Center for Economic Research and Development, Ateneo de Manila University; Jonathan Ravelas, FVP-chief market strategist, BDO Unibank Inc.; Pauline May Ann E. Revillas, research analyst, Metrobank; Joey Cuyegkeng, senior economist, ING Bank; Victor Abola, senior economist, University of Asia and the Pacific; Carlo Asuncion, chief economist, Union Bank of the Phillipines
Singapore: Manu Bhaskaran, CEO, Centennial Asia Advisors; Randolph Tan, director, Center for Applied Research, Singapore University of Social Sciences; Yuma Tsuchiya, senior economist, MUFG Bank Ltd.
Thailand: Krasae Rangsipol, senior economist, Siam Commercial Bank Economic Intelligence Center; Nattaporn Triratanasirikul, head-research of macroeconomics, Kasikorn Research Center; Thammarat Kittisiripat, senior economist, KT Zmico Securities; Somprawin Manprasert, head of research division and chief economist, Bank of Ayudhya PCL; Amonthep Chawla, head of research office, CIMB Thai Bank PCL; Naris Sathapholdeja, team head, TMB Analytics, TMB Bank PCL
India: Punit Srivastava, head of research, Daiwa Capital Markets India; Dharmakirti Joshi, chief economist, CRISIL; Sonal Varma, chief India economist, Nomura India; Tirthankar Patnaik, chief strategist and head of reserch, India, Mizuho Bank Limited; Dilip Chenoy, secretary general, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI)
For multiple countries: Euben Paracuelles, senior economist, Nomura Singapore; David Fernandez, chief Asia-Pacific economist, Barclays Bank
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