Forecaster sees 2009 recovery for Asian economy
Singapore could well be the first economy in Southeast Asia to rebound from the current economic crisis by about third quarter of next year, economist Thierry Apoteker said in a news report Friday.
Apoteker, a French economist and head of a consulting agency, told television station Channel News Asia (CNA) he expected the US and Eurozone to see signs of recovery in the second quarter of 2009, with Asia following suit in the third quarter, dpa reported.
However, he remained cautious about the China factor in Asian economic recovery.
"The very critical question to what happens in Asia is what happens in China because even if we have a mild recovery in the West, a catastrophe in China will impact the rest of Asia very negatively due to the growing integration of Asia and China," the CNA quoted Apoteker as saying.
He warned that if Chinese companies were unable to export surplus stocks financed on credit, the losses they chalk up could impact their trade with other Asian economies.
But for the moment, the decline in Chinese exports is expected to be short-lived, with the country's 2009 growth rate still forecast to come in at 7.5 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
On a positive note he cited a jump in US consumer confidence in November as one of the indicators that could signal signs of a global recovery next year.
He noted that signs of liquidity tensions were loosening up, which suggested that banks might start lending to corporations soon and put the US economy on a recovery path.
Increased spending in the US and Eurozone would translate to an increase in demand for exports from Asia.