Asia and Pacific Region
Regional Economic Outlook Update: Asia and Pacific
Despite a weaker-than-expected first half of the year, the outlook for the Asia and Pacific region remains solid. The ongoing global recovery, while tepid, should support Asia’s exports. Meanwhile, favorable financial and labor market conditions, as well as broadly accommodative policies, will continue to underpin domestic demand. GDP is forecast to grow by 5.5 percent for the third consecutive year in 2014, rising slightly to 5.6 percent in 2015. Financial dislocations associated with higher global interest rates, and protracted weak growth in advanced and emerging market economies are the main downside risks to the outlook. A sharper-than-anticipated downturn in China’s real estate sector and less-effective-than-envisaged Abenomics in Japan would also adversely affect regional growth prospects. Geopolitical tensions could also disrupt trade and financial flows, with adverse effects on growth. Policymakers in the region should capitalize on the outlook to gradually rebuild policy space and push ahead with structural reforms to deliver sustainable growth. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, fiscal consolidation should generally continue in a calibrated manner, especially where debt levels are higher, and monetary normalization should proceed particularly where inflation pressures are high or building up.