ASEAN Outlook Falls in 4th Consecutive Survey
Uncertainty to Persist as Impact of Trade War Spreads
Asian economists once again revised their growth forecasts downward as the U.S.-China trade war incited negative developments, including decreasing exports, throughout the region. The 2019 growth forecast for the ASEAN5 was 4.3%, marking the fourth consecutive downward revision since the September 2018 survey. The Indian economy in fiscal 2019/20 is expected to maintain growth of nearly 7%, but the projection was revised downward due in part to the slowdown of the global economy. Economists find no consensus on the future course of the U.S.-China tensions, but many agree that the conflict will not be easily resolved, and that uncertainty will persist. Economists in all six countries regarded “U.S.-China tensions” as the greatest risk for their economies.
The outcome of this survey was also reported at Nikkei Asian Review. (July 9, 2019)
◆ Main points of the survey
- The weighted average of growth forecasts for the ASEAN5 in 2019 was 4.3%, revised downward by 0.3 points from the March survey. This marks the fourth consecutive downward revision since the Sept. 2018 survey, and the greatest drop over the same period.
- 2019 projections were lowered for all five ASEAN countries, due largely to the deceleration of exports and the slowdown of the world economy. Both developments were triggered by the U.S.-China conflict.
- The growth projection for India for fiscal 2019/20 was 6.9%, revised down by 0.2 points from the previous survey. An ailing domestic financial sector, uncertain weather, and the global economic slowdown factor into the sub-7% growth projection.
- Economists in all six countries regard “U.S.-China tensions over trade and high-tech issues” as the leading risk. Political uncertainty in India, Indonesia, and other countries has diminished.
◆ List of survey respondents
Indonesia: Juniman, chief economist, Maybank Indonesia; Dendi Ramdani, head of industry and regional research department, Bank Mandiri; Umar Juoro, senior fellow, The Habibie Center; Wisnu Wardana, economist, Bank Danamon Indonesia
Malaysia: Suhaimi Ilias, group chief economist, Maybank Investment Bank; Vincent Loo Yeong Hong, senior economist, RHB Research Institute; Wan Suhaimie bin Wan Mohd Saidie, head, economic research, 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, chief market strategist, BDO Unibank Inc.; Pauline Revillas, research analyst, Metrobank; Emilio S. Neri Jr., vice president and lead economist, Bank of the Philippine Islands; Carlo Asuncion, chief economist, Union Bank of the Philippines; Mitzie Conchada, associate dean, De La Salle University
Singapore: Manu Bhaskaran, CEO, Centennial Asia Advisors; Randolph Tan, director, Centre for Applied Research, Singapore University of Social Sciences; Yuma Tsuchiya, senior economist, MUFG Bank, Ltd.
Thailand: Panundorn Aruneeniramarn, assistant vice president, Siam Commercial Bank – Economic Intelligence Center; Nattaporn Triratanasirikul, assistance managing director, 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, CIMB Thai Bank; Naris Sathapholdeja, head of TMB analytics, TMB Bank PCL
India: Punit Srivastava, head of research, Daiwa Capital Markets India; Dharmakirti Joshi, chief economist, CRISIL; Sonal Varma, India chief economist, Nomura India; Tirthankar Patnaik, chief economist, National Stock Exchange of India; Shekhar Shah, director-general, National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER); Dilip Chenoy, secretary general, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FCCI)
For multiple countries: Euben Paracuelles, senior economist, Nomura Singapore; Rahul Bajoria, director, regional economist, Barclays Bank; Donald Hanna, group chief economist, CIMB Group
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