Regional Economic Reports

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These reports discuss recent economic developments and prospects for countries in various regions. They also address economic policy developments that have affected economic performance in the regions, and discuss key challenges faced by policymakers. They address regional policy developments and challenges, and provide country-specific data and analysis, including through analytical pieces on issues of interest to a particular region.

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Asia and Pacific region
Date: October 2014
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.

Asia and Pacific Region
Date: April 2014
The five Regional Economic Outlooks published biannually by the IMF cover Asia and Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Western Hemisphere. In each volume, recent economic developments and prospects for the region are discussed as a whole, as well as for specific countries. The reports include key data for countries in the region. Each report focuses on policy developments that have affected economic performance in the region, and discusses key challenges faced by policymakers. The near-term outlook, key risks, and their related policy challenges are analyzed throughout the reports, and current issues are explored, such as when and how to withdraw public interventions in financial systems globally while maintaining a still-fragile economic recovery. These indispensable surveys are the product of comprehensive intradepartmental reviews of economic developments that draw primarily on information the IMF staff gathers through consultation with member countries.

Asia and Pacific Economic Outlook: Update
Date: October 2013
Asia has not been spared by the recent re-pricing of financial assets in emerging markets, encountering a wave of capital outflows in the past few months. The overall impact has, so far, been manageable although some countries have been subject to greater stress. Tighter global liquidity--and homegrown structural impediments in some countries -- will weigh on growth, but for most economies the impact should be partly offset by a gradual pickup in exports to advanced economies and resilient domestic demand. If, however, conditions tighten further we are likely to see even greater differentiation across the region. Those with strong fundamentals and policy credibility will be able to offset imported tightening through lower policy rates and fiscal support. Others that have delayed reforms, left fiscal vulnerabilities untackled, or tolerated too-high inflation may be forced to respond with a procyclical policy tightening. Announcing credible medium-term reforms would rebuild confidence and ease policy trade-offs.

Asia and Pacific region
Date: April 2013
Growth in the Asia-Pacific region shows signs of improving as extreme risks emanating from advanced economies have receded and domestic demand remains resilient, supported by relatively easy financial conditions and robust labor markets. A small and gradual pick-up in growth to over 5.75 percent is projected in the course of 2013. Risks to the outlook from within the region, such as rising financial imbalances and asset prices in some economies, are coming clearer into focus. Although Asia's banking and corporate sectors have solid buffers, monetary policymakers should stand ready to respond early and decisively to shifting risks, and macroprudential measures will also have a role to play. In many Asian economies, some fiscal consolidation could also rebuild the space needed to respond to future shocks and preempt potential overheating pressures from capital inflows. In particular, there is a growing need to make tax and spending policies more efficient. To sustain high growth rates and alleviate the "middle-income trap" across Emerging Asia, the policy agenda will vary by jurisdiction but will also often include strengthening infrastructure investment and reforming goods and labor markets.

Asia and Pacific region
Date: October 2012
Growth in the Asia-Pacific region has slowed. External headwinds played a major role, as the recovery in advanced economies suffered setbacks. Weaker momentum in China and India also weighed on regional economies. For Asia as a whole, GDP growth fell to its lowest rate since the 2008 global financial crisis during the first half of 2012. With inflationary pressures easing, macroeconomic policy stances remained generally supportive of domestic demand and in some cases were eased further in response to the slowdown. More broadly, financial conditions remain accommodative, and capital inflows have resumed. Going forward, growth is projected to pick up very gradually, and Asia should remain the global growth leader, expanding over 2 percentage points faster than the world average next year. However, considerable downside risks remain, in particular with regard to the euro area crisis. The priorities for policymakers are to support noninflationary growth, maintain financial stability, and remain responsive to weaker-than-expected outcomes. Refocusing structural and fiscal reform efforts toward sustained and more inclusive growth remains a priority.

Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific
Date: April 2012
Barring the realization of downside risks to the global economy, growth in the Asia and the Pacific region is expected to gain momentum over the course of 2012, according to this report, and now projected at 6 percent in 2012, rising to about 6½ percent in 2013. Stronger economic and policy fundamentals have helped buffer the region's economies against the global financial crisis, by limiting adverse financial market spillovers and ameliorating the impact of deleveraging by European banks, but a sharp fall in exports to advanced economies and a reversal of foreign capital flows would have a severe impact on the region. The region's policymakers now face the difficult task of calibrating the amount of insurance needed to support stable, noninflationary growth. Some Asian and Pacific economies can afford to lengthen the pause in the normalization of their macroeconomic policies that was initiated when the global recovery stalled late in 2011; others may need a faster return to more neutral policy stances. Similarly, the pace of fiscal consolidation should be calibrated to country-specific circumstances. Additional chapters in the report discuss whether China is rebalancing and the particular challenges facing Asian low-income and small island economies.

Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific
Date: October 2011
In line with the weaker global outlook, growth in Asia is expected to be slightly lower in 2011-12 than forecast in April 2011, mainly as a result of weakening external demand, but the expansion should remain healthy, supported by domestic demand, which has been generally resilient. Overheating pressures remain elevated in a number of economies, with credit growth still robust and inflation momentum generally high, though inflation is expected to recede modestly after peaking in 2011. The sell-off in Asian financial markets in August and September 2011 underscores that an escalation of euro area financial turbulence and a renewed slowdown in the United States could have severe macroeconomic and financial spillovers to Asia. Against this backdrop, Asian low-income and Pacific Island economies face particular challenges in the near and medium term. In low-income countries, the fight against inflation is complicated by strong second-round effects, the need to phase out subsidies, and less well-anchored inflation expectations. Pacific Island economies need to undertake further structural reforms to lift potential growth.

Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific
Date: April 2011
Asia and Pacific focuses on the policy challenges of managing the next phase of growth after Asia's recovery from the global crisis. The analytical chapters discuss how capital flows to the region may affect the monetary policy transmission mechanism and the role of macroprudential measures in this context, the implications of the Asian supply chain for rebalancing growth across the region, and the policy challenges for Asian low-income and Pacific Island countries. Economic recovery in Asia as a whole has been rapid (8.3 percent in 2010) and fueled by both exports and domestic demand. Looking ahead, growth is expected to continue at a more moderate but also more sustainable pace in 2011 and 2012, led by China and India. Meanwhile, new risks to the outlook have emerged. The full human cost and impact on infrastructure of the mid-March earthquake and tsunami in Japan remain to be determined. The steady response of the Japanese government and people has helped to contain the effects of the disaster on production, but a risk remains of prolonged disruptions in production that could spill over to other Asian economies in the regional supply chain. Moreover, tensions in the Middle East and North Africa and related risk of further oil price spikes could disrupt global growth and affect Asian exports. Finally, pockets of overheating have emerged in Asia, as core inflation and credit growth have accelerated in several Asian economies. The need to tighten macroeconomic policy stances has become more pressing than it was six months ago.
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Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific
Date: October 2010
Asia has entered the second year of the global economic expansion still firmly in the lead of the recovery. Growth in the first half of 2010 proceeded well above trend in almost all regional economies, as global manufacturing continued to rebound and fueled exports and investment in the region. Private consumption also remained strong, as labor conditions continued to improve and confidence remained high despite greater market volatility as a result of global financial turbulence.
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Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific
Date: April 2010
One year after the deepest recession in recent history, Asia is leading the global recovery. The Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific discusses the near-term outlook for the region, as well as the medium-term policy challenges that countries face. As in many emerging and developing markets, Asia rebounded swiftly during 2009 and in the first quarter of 2010, and in the near term the region is expected to continue leading the global recovery. In the medium term, the global crisis has highlighted the importance for Asia of ensuring that private domestic demand becomes a more prominent engine of growth.
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Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific
Date: October 2009
Asia has rebounded fast from the depth of the global crisis. Initially, the region was hit extremely hard, with output in most countries shrinking by much more than even those nations at the epicenter of the crisis. But starting in February 2009, Asia's economy began to revive. Exports and industrial production have increased again, financial pressures have eased, confidence has largely been restored. What explains this remarkable comeback? What challenges does the recovery pose to Asian policymakers? These are the main questions addressed in the IMF's October 2009 "Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific." The report discusses the latest developments in Asia, examines the prospects for the period ahead, and considers the policy steps needed to sustain the recovery and rebalance Asia's medium-term growth.

Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific
Date: May 2009
The May 2009 Asia and Pacific REO looks at the impact of the global financial crisis on Asia. Chapter 1 argues that a sustained recovery will need to await an improvement in the global economy, given Asian economies' specialization on advanced manufacturing and increasing financial ties with the rest of the world. Indeed, Chapter 2 shows that Asia has typically not recovered until exports have started to revive. An expansionary policy stance would provide insurance against the risks that a delayed global recovery could hurt the corporate and bank sectors, as discussed in Chapter 3. Some useful insights on how to deal with the adverse impact of the crisis may come from Japan's experience during the 1990s, discussed in Chapter 4.

Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific
Date: November 2008
The November 2008 Asia and Pacific REO focuses on the difficult economic environment facing policymakers in the region. Chapter 1 provides an overview of the outlook for the region. With growth slowing, and the global financial crisis increasingly affecting the region, macroeconomic and financial policies will need to be proactive. Chapter 2 looks more closely at inflation in Asia, finding that it is increasingly imported and volatile, which raises important questions about monetary policy frameworks in the future. Chapter 3 takes a longer-term look at how the expected rapid aging of the region may affect capital flows and financial markets in the years to come.

Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific
Date: April 2008
2008 is shaping up as a challenging year for Asia. Activity in most economies remains fairly buoyant, but growth in the United States and, to a lesser extent, Europe is slowing sharply. Given its extensive trade and financial linkages with the rest of the world, Asia is unlikely to delink. At the same time, inflation pressures are picking up across much of the region. Moreover, the still-unfolding global financial crisis adds a dimension of uncertainty to the picture, and the balance of risks remains on the downside. However, most countries in the region are well-placed to undertake counter-cyclical policies should these prove necessary.

Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific
Date: October 2007
Economic developments in Asia have been positive so far in 2007. Growth has been stronger (and in many cases more balanced) than expected across much of the region, again led by China and India, and inflation pressures remain largely contained. Moreover, Asia weathered the recent financial turbulence relatively well. The outlook is favorable, with growth expected to decline only modestly in 2008 as foreign demand for Asia's exports slows. The main risk for the region is a sharper-than-expected global slowdown.

Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific
Date: April 2007
The recent economic and financial developments and trends in Asia and the Pacific are examined in this latest REO, including issues related to Asia's trade performance, notably in the high-tech sector, and the February-March bout of turbulence in the region's financial markets. The near-term outlook, key risks, and their related policy challenges are analyzed throughout, as well as in special chapters that look more closely at the evolving nature of capital inflows, housing market developments, and the impact of commodity price booms on lower-income economies.

Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific
Date: September 2006
This report gives the IMF's view of the outlook for Asia, identifies the main risks to growth, and considers the key factors that will influence capital inflows. The REO also discusses short-run macroeconomic policy issues for the region, as well as longer-term challenges, including the need to raise consumption and rebalance growth, develop further regional financial and capital markets, and address growing income inequality.

Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific
Date: May 2006
This report gives the IMF's view of the outlook for Asia, identifies the main risks to growth, and considers the key factors that will influence capital inflows. The REO also hones in on the policy challenges facing the region, especially the need to spur domestic demand, so that growth becomes more balanced and sustainable and helps reduce the large global current account imbalances.
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Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific
Date: September 2005
Looking ahead, prospects are relatively bright. Regional growth is expected to amount to 6% both this year and next, propelled by vigorous exports and strong domestic demand in China and India.