ASEAN stands ready to overcome another year of economic headwinds
ICAEW’s Economic Insight: South East Asia is a quarterly forecast for the region prepared specifically for the finance profession.
Produced by Cebr, ICAEW’s partner and acknowledged experts in global economic forecasting, it provides a unique perspective on the prospects for South East Asia over the coming years. We focus on the largest economies of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) – namely Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
Key points include:
- The global economy as a whole remains unstable, but ASEAN nations find themselves in an ‘economic sweet spot’ of manageable inflation, moderate interest rates, and rising prosperity feeding through to increasing household consumption. Based on the current numbers, and barring extraordinary setbacks, we would expect to see ASEAN continue to outpace the global economy for the foreseeable future.
- In spite of global economic headwinds, ASEAN GDP is expected to grow by 5.0% this year. This is projected to rise to 5.4% in 2014 thanks to a strong performance of regional behemoth Indonesia.
- The region plays an increasingly important role in the global economy and trade links with other Asian nations are becoming ever more crucial. When Chinese exports to Europe dropped by $22bn in 2012, ASEAN more than balanced this decline with a $34bn increase in purchases from the People’s Republic.
- A big boost has come from intra-regional leisure and business travel, which together have grown by over a third in the last four years. Tourism is not just a major employer but also provides substantial foreign currency earnings, so the rise is a boost to the region’s economies.