ASEAN Forecasts Down in Trade War, Market Shocks
Economies Remain Steady; Concerns from Overseas
Amid an escalating U.S.-China trade war and market turmoil in emerging markets, economists in Southeast Asian countries have begun to revise their growth outlooks downward. The 2018 growth forecast for the ASEAN5 was revised down by 0.1 point to 4.9% from the previous survey, the first downward revision this year, as the outlooks for Indonesia, the Philippines, and Malaysia were all down. The figure is lower than the 5.0% achieved in 2017. Thus far the negative impact of the trade war has been limited, and Asian economies in general remain steady. Nevertheless, economists worry that weaker exports could eventually have a slowing effect. Downward pressure is likely to continue for currencies such as the Indonesian rupiah. Further rate hikes are expected in countries throughout the region, which may cool their economies.
The outcome of this survey was also reported at Nikkei Asian Review. (October 11, 2018)
◆ Main points of the survey
- The weighted average of growth forecasts for the ASEAN5 in 2018 was revised to 4.9%, down 0.1% from the June survey. The figure for Thailand was up, while the figures for Indonesia, the Philippines, and Malaysia were down.
- The growth projection for India in 2018/19 was 7.4%, unchanged from the previous survey and 0.7 points higher than the 2017/18 figure. Domestic demand remains strong, but higher oil prices, further interest rate hikes, and a weaker rupee are seen as concerns.
- Economists foresee that downward pressure on the Indonesia rupiah, Philippine peso, and Indian rupee will continue, with rates hovering around current low levels toward the end of the year. Some economists expect additional rate hikes in 2018 in Indonesia, India, and Thailand.
- Economists find the influence of the U.S.-China trade war and market turmoil to be limited so far, but express concern for the future. Rising protectionism, which relates to trade war, and currency depreciation are two major risks conceived by economists in the region.
◆ 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 manager, 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; Lee Heng Guie, executive director, Socio-Economic Research Centre (SERC)
Philippines: Alvin Ang , director, Ateneo Center for Economic Research and Development, Ateneo de Manila University; Jonathan Ravelas, FVP-chief market strategist, BDO Unibank Inc.; Jojo Gonzales, managing director, Philippine Equity Partners Inc.; Pauline Revillas, research analyst, Metrobank; Joey Cuyegkeng, senior economist , ING Bank Philippines; Victor Abola, senior economist, University of Asia and the Pacific; Carlo Asuncion, chief economist, Union Bank of the Philippines; Mitzie Conchada, associate professor, school of economics, 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: Krasae Rangsipol, vice president, 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; Naris Sathapholdeja, team 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 strategist and head of research, India, Mizuho Bank Limited; Madan Sabnavis, chief economist, CARE Ratings; Aditi Nayar, principal economist, ICRA Limited;
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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