Asian development bank pares back growth estimates for Asia

Updated 08 December 2012

Asian development bank pares back growth estimates for Asia

Manila: Asian Development Bank on Friday trimmed the region’s growth forecasts for 2012 and 2013 amid ‘uncertainty’ in Europe and the United States, and a poor Indian economy, dpa reported.
The region of Developing Asia, which excludes Japan, was set for growth of 6.0 percent in 2012, and 6.6 percent in 2013, the bank’s latest Asian Development Outlook Supplement said, 0.1 percentage point lower for each year than it predicted in October.
The group of countries was dragged down by India’s performance stressing the country’s sliding industrial production and declining exports.
In the second quarter, Indian industrial production fell 0.4 percent and overall growth in gross domestic product (GDP) slid to 5.3 percent from 6.7 percent a year earlier, the report said.
Moreover, growth in consumer spending was one of the lowest in recent years, it said.
’With weak agricultural income keeping rural consumption low and fragile investment sentiment in the coming quarters, GDP growth is now projected at 5.4 for fiscal 2012,’ less than the 5.6 percent that was forecast in ADB’s 2012 October update, the report said.
South-East Asian consumers and ‘a mild economic recovery’ in China provided some buoyancy to offset India’s weakness, it said.
However, ‘enduring debt problems and economic weakness in Europe and the looming fiscal cliff in the United States remain very real threats to developing Asia next year,’ the bank’s chief economist
Changyong Rhee said.
In China, October’s data reinforced September’s indication of recovery, the report said, with ‘industrial production growth rebounding to a five-month high of 9.6 percent and fixed investment expanding 20.7 percent, backed by a 25.5 percent increase in infrastructure investment.’
--SPA


Japan’s capital sees prices fall most in over 8 years as COVID-19 pain persists

Updated 27 November 2020

Japan’s capital sees prices fall most in over 8 years as COVID-19 pain persists

  • Tokyo core CPI marks biggest annual drop since May 2012
  • Data suggests nationwide consumer prices to stay weak

TOKYO: Core consumer prices in Tokyo suffered their biggest annual drop in more than eight years, data showed on Friday, an indication the hit to consumption from the coronavirus crisis continued to heap deflationary pressure on the economy.
The data, which is considered a leading indicator of nationwide price trends, reinforces market expectations that inflation will remain distant from the Bank of Japan’s 2% target for the foreseeable future.
“Consumer prices will continue to hover on a weak note as any economic recovery will be moderate,” said Dai-ichi Life Research Institute, which expects nationwide core consumer prices to fall 0.5% in the fiscal year ending March 2021.
The core consumer price index (CPI) for Japan’s capital, which includes oil products but excludes fresh food prices, fell 0.7% in November from a year earlier, government data showed, matching a median market forecast.
It followed a 0.5% drop in October and marked the biggest annual drop since May 2012, underscoring the challenge policymakers face in battling headwinds to growth from COVID-19.
The slump in fuel costs and the impact of a government campaign offering discounts to domestic travel weighed on Tokyo consumer prices, the data showed.
Japan’s economy expanded in July-September from a record post-war slump in the second quarter, when lockdown measures to prevent the spread of the virus cooled consumption and paralyzed business activity.
Analysts, however, expect any recovery to be modest with a resurgence in global and domestic infections clouding the outlook, keeping pressure on policymakers to maintain or even ramp up stimulus.