Asian economies struggling to reignite growth while exports sag

Thu Jul 18, 2013 8:49am EDT
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By Sumanta Dey

BANGALORE (Reuters) - Emerging Asia will show little increase in economic growth rates this year due to weak exports, with China giving more priority to making needed reforms, and India tightening policies to defend its beleaguered rupee, Reuters polls showed on Thursday.

Prospects for 2014, however, look better with most economies expected to grow faster than this year on the back of a recovery in U.S. growth.

The polls on the outlook for a dozen top Asian countries, taken between July 8 to 17, showed economists have slashed 2013 growth forecasts for almost all economies in the region with China, India, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan bearing the brunt.

Indeed, forecasts for gross domestic product growth in China and India, the two regional powerhouses, have now been cut in almost every quarterly poll since a year ago.

China is expected to grow 7.5 percent this year, while India is forecast to show 5.5 percent growth - way below levels both countries are used to.

Supplying developed countries with everything from consumer and electronic goods, to clothes and technology equipment, Asia's export focused economies have been hit by a prolonged slowdown in their main markets.

In June, China's exports fell for the first time in 17 months and a private survey of the manufacturing sector showed new orders declined that month for the second time in a row.

Indian exports too fell for the second straight month in June.   Continued...

A cargo ship loaded with containers is seen anchored at a port in Qingdao, Shandong province July 10, 2013. China's exports in June declined 3.1 percent from a year earlier. Picture taken July 10, 2013. REUTERS/China Daily