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Asia reopens, more hikes in Korea & Sri Lanka

Countries across Emerging Asia are making renewed efforts to reopen their borders to boost flagging tourism sectors. However, the recovery is likely to be very gradual, not least because China (which was the source of around one-third of all tourists to the region before the pandemic) is in no rush to reopen its border. The poor prospects for tourism will weigh heavily on the Thai baht over the coming year and lead to further balance of payments strains in Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, the central banks of Korea and Sri Lanka left interest rates unchanged at their scheduled meetings this week, but we think it won’t be long before both raise interest rates again
Gareth Leather Senior Asia Economist
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Emerging Asia Data Response

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High inflation and the fall in the currency were the two key factors behind the State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) decision to raise interest rates by a further 150bp today. More tightening looks inevitable, and much will depend on whether the government can agree terms with the IMF over the resumption of its US$6bn loan programme. Asia Drop-In (26th May, 0900 BST/16:00 SGT): Can Asia remain the low inflation exception? Join our 20-minute briefing about the region’s price and policy outlooks. Register here.

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Emerging Asia Economics Update

Bank Indonesia will be in no rush to tighten next year

Bank Indonesia today left its policy rate unchanged at 3.5% and signalled that it is likely to leave rates on hold for a prolonged period of time. With the economy rebounding but inflation set to stay low, we think interest rates will be left on hold until the end of next year.

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Time to worry about inflation?

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With cases of COVID-19 in Vietnam falling sharply and the government easing restrictions, factories are starting to reopen, and the latest data suggest the worst is now over for the country’s manufacturing sector. However, with backlogs of work mounting up, disruption is likely to last for some time.

5 October 2021
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