Tue, Jun 15, 2004 - Page 11 News List

It's boom time for Asian economies

UPGRADES South Korea and Thailand are the only major Asian economies to have had growth projections lowered, while cooling China remains firm at 9.5 percent

AFP , SINGAPORE

Asian economies are poised to accelerate this year at their fastest pace since the 1997 regional financial crisis thanks to higher exports and improved domestic spending, an arm of Dutch financial group ING predicted yesterday.

ING Financial Markets said in a report that it was upgrading its 2004 growth projections for Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Taiwan while maintaining its forecasts for China and Indonesia.

South Korea and Thailand were the only exceptions, where growth targets were lowered, ING said.

"The figures coming in for the first quarter have generally surprised on the upside and ING sees future growth rising still further in the next two quarters, supported by exceptional global growth momentum," said Tim Condon, ING Financial Markets' Asia research head.

"We see 2004 as shaping up as the year of fastest growth since the 1997 Asian financial crisis. Export-led growth has succeeded in resuscitating domestic spending to the point that domestic demand has taken over from exports as the driver of top line growth in most of the region," he said.

It upgraded the Philippines' growth projection from 5.3 to 5.6 percent, Hong Kong from 6.0 to 6.5 percent, Malaysia from 6.3 to 6.5 percent, Singapore from 6.0 to 7.0 percent and Taiwan from 5.5 to 6.0 percent.

ING maintained China's 2004 growth forecast at 9.5 percent and Indonesia at 4.5 percent.

South Korea, whose growth outlook has been cut from 6.0 to 5.5 percent, is expected to be hurt by weak domestic demand despite robust exports, ING said.

Thailand's economy is now expected to grow at a slower rate of 6.5 percent this year rather than the 7.5 percent projected previously because of the bird-flu outbreak earlier this year and the continuing impact of high oil prices, the report said.

This story has been viewed 7436 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top