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Regional Economic Outlook Update: Asia and Pacific
Asia: Bolstering Resilience amid the Slowdown
October 10, 2015
While Asia’s growth has recently disappointed, the region is expected to grow at a steady 5.4 percent in 2015–16, remaining the global growth leader. Asia’s growth should benefit from relatively strong labor markets and disposable income growth along with the ongoing gradual recovery in major advanced economies. Across most major Asian economies, lower commodity prices should help consumption. Negative risks to growth dominate, especially the possibility of a sharper slowdown in China or larger spillovers from the changing composition of China’s demand. In addition, further U.S. dollar strength accompanied by a sudden tightening of global financial conditions, weaker growth in Japan, and weaker regional potential growth could also dim Asia’s growth prospects. High leverage could amplify shocks, and lower commodity prices will also hurt corporate investment in key commodity-producing sectors. All in all, despite its resilient outlook, Asia is facing a challenging economic environment. This calls for carefully calibrated macroeconomic policies and a renewed impetus on structural reforms to facilitate investment and improve economic efficiency, bolstering economic resilience and potential growth.