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Emerging Asia Economics Weekly

Recent rate hikes not the start of a trend

Attention over the past week has been on the region’s more hawkish central banks, following rate hikes in Korea and Pakistan. Both countries, along with Sri Lanka (which unexpectedly left rates unchanged at its meeting on Thursday) are likely to raise interest rates further over the coming months. But these countries are very much the exception. For the rest of the region, we think interest rates will remain on hold as central banks look to keep monetary policy loose to support recoveries. Meanwhile, virus cases are rising again in Vietnam. While restrictions have been tightened, they have so far been fairly light touch, including a closure of bars and nightclubs and capacity limits on restaurants in some southern provinces. Nevertheless, the jump in cases will be watched closely by global carmakers, which were hit hard by the disruption from previous factory closures.   Drop-In: Why is Asia sitting out the global inflation surge? 09:00 GMT/17:00 HKT, Thursday 2nd December https://event.on24.com/wcc/r/3546145/A9D34EF592141BEFCAC819ADB40359D5?partnerref=report Drop-In: India – How much scarring will the pandemic leave? 10:00 ET/15:00 GMT, Wednesday 1st December https://event.on24.com/wcc/r/3535749/63CC51718846E8FF3D871827AC84AF1E?partnerref=report

26 November 2021

Emerging Asia Economics Update

Bank of Korea to hike at least three more times in 2022

Today’s move by the Bank of Korea is likely to mark the second hike of at least five, in a tightening cycle that began in August and will extend well into next year.

25 November 2021

Emerging Asia Data Response

Singapore GDP (Q3, Revised)

Revised Q3 GDP data show that Singapore’s economy grew more strongly than first thought last quarter, and while containment measures mean the recovery is unlikely to have gained much momentum so far this quarter, a gradual reopening should see growth accelerate in the coming months.

24 November 2021

Emerging Asia Economics Focus

Why is inflation different in Asia?

Inflation hasn’t emerged as a concern across Emerging Asia in the same way it has in the rest of the emerging world, in part because food price inflation in Asia is much lower, but also because the region has experienced much less disruption from the pandemic than other EMs. Whereas central banks in Latin America and Emerging Europe will tighten monetary policy further over the coming months, interest rates in most of Asia will remain on hold.

22 November 2021

Emerging Asia Economics Update

Export orders dip, but shortages will persist

Taiwan export orders dropped back in October, but the big picture is that they are down only slightly over the past few months and remain at an elevated level. Looking ahead, we expect demand to weaken, but a backlog of unmet orders means shortages will persist for some time.

22 November 2021

Emerging Asia Data Response

Korea Trade (1st – 20th Nov.)

Korean export values saw continued strength in the first 20 days of November and should remain elevated in the coming months as exporters work through large backlogs of unmet orders.

22 November 2021

Emerging Asia Economics Update

Pakistan: further rate hikes coming

Pakistan’s central bank (SBP) today raised interest rates by an aggressive 150bp and with inflation set to remain above target and the currency likely to come under further downward pressure, further hikes are likely over the coming months.

19 November 2021

Emerging Asia Economics Weekly

Vaccine progress, external turnaround in Indonesia

After a slow start, countries across South East Asia are now making encouraging progress with vaccine rollouts. The rise in coverage should reduce the need for further lockdowns and set the stage for a sustained recovery over the coming quarters. Meanwhile, although central banks in Emerging Asia are in no hurry to tighten policy, the coming week will focus attention on two exceptions to that rule. Korea and Sri Lanka are both expected to raise interest rates at their meetings on Thursday.

19 November 2021

Emerging Asia Economics Update

Bank Indonesia is in no rush to tighten

Bank Indonesia (BI) left interest rates unchanged at 3.5% today and appeared to signal that policy rates would remain unchanged for some time yet. A large output gap and weak inflation mean the central bank is in no hurry to follow other EM central banks by tightening policy.

18 November 2021

Emerging Asia Economics Update

Philippines: rates will stay low to support recovery

The central bank in the Philippines (BSP) left its main policy rate on hold at 2.00% today to support the economic recovery, and with GDP still well below its pre-pandemic level, rates are set to remain low for a long time to come.

18 November 2021

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