6 Sep 2013

Emerging Asian economies face slowing growth

11:54 am on 6 September 2013

Slowing growth and capital flight among some Asian emerging economies has raised the spectre of Asia repeating the 1997 financial crisis.

Investors have been spooked by concerns in countries like India and Indonesia, prompting sharp declines in their currencies and stock markets.

Asia is a key trading region for New Zealand, and these countries have been identified as potentially lucrative markets for the country's food products.

While emerging Asian economies are being hard hit at the moment, Standard Poors chief global economist Paul Sheard said he doesn't expect any currency collapses or balance of payments crises.

He said 15 years ago when the financial crisis blew up, Asia was at its epicentre, but the circumstances are very different now.

Mr Sheard said it would be very surprising if anything remotely resembling that crisis were to occur and macropolicy frameworks are much better and the fundamentals of many of these economies are much stronger as well.

But he said they are experiencing some volatility given that the Federal Reserve's monetary policy in particular has had a global spill-over to the emerging markets.

Mr Sheard said the global economy is getting better every year, though risks remain - like Europe's fragile banks and the possibility China's economy could slow sharply.

He said the global economy has had five years to undergo a recovery, although region by region the nuances are different.