Japan’s economy faces another rocky year
The year 2019 was a bumpy one for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in steering his country’s economy, and next year isn’t looking any easier.
Data over the past two months show the world’s third-largest economy has been hit with a double blow. Exports are falling after the U.S.-China trade war and other troubles hit industries in China that rely on Japanese parts. At home, retailers are suffering after Mr. Abe reluctantly made the call to raise the national sales tax to 10percent from 8percent.
“It is true that some weakness has been observed in exports, production and business sentiment,” Bank of Japan Gov. Haruhiko Kuroda said Thursday.
Japan’s situation contrasts with the U.S. and some other nations, where economists have grown more upbeat recently about next year. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal this month saw lower odds of a U.S. recession than they had in previous months and forecast growth of 1.8percent in 2020. European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said last week the “downside risks that we had on the horizon are less pronounced.”
IMF calls for ‘urgent’ action by India amid economic slowdown
India’s government must take steps quickly to reverse the economic slowdown of an economy that has been one of the engines of global growth, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said.
Declining consumption and investment, and falling tax revenue, have combined with other factors to put the brakes on one of the world’s fastest growing large economies, the IMF said in its annual review of India’s economy.
After lifting millions out of poverty “India is now in the midst of a significant economic slowdown,” Ranil Salgado, of the IMF Asia and Pacific Department, told reporters on Monday.
“Addressing the current downturn and returning India to a high growth path requires urgent policy actions,” Salgado added.
However, the government has limited space to boost spending to support growth, especially given high debt levels and interest payments, the IMF warned.
In China, economy dogged at decade’s end
In some ways, China rivals or even surpasses the most developed parts of the U.S., like the Chinese high speed rail network. The bullet train is clean, efficient and can take passengers from Shanghai to Beijing in 4.5 hours. However, a short drive from Shanghai’s financial center, there are still parts of China struggling to acquire the basics — things like a flushing toilet.
On average, China’s employees work 12 hours more per week than their U.S. counterparts, but this might not last and employers must adjust to attract workers.
Previous generations, mostly from the poor countryside, have migrated to the cities and been eager to work overtime on construction sites, in factories or as cleaners to save as much as they can to retire in their village.
Vietnam to close a successful year with a growth of 6.9 pc
The Vietnamese economy will close 2019 with an admirable growth of 6.9 percent, a year in which, the inflation fell to a three-year low, the number of private enterprises also increased and the government ratified its economic policy
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) rectified its forecast on the growth of the Vietnamese economy this year by changing it from 6.8 to 6.9 percent.
Vietnam will maintain in 2019 a stable economic growth of 6.9 percent despite tensions and fluctuations in regional and global trade, predicted the body in its regular Asian Development Perspectives.
The bank also raised from 6.7 to 6.8 percent its forecast on the expansion of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the nation for next year.
Thai central bank predicts 2.8 pc economic growth in 2020
In a seminar held in Bangkok on Monday, the Bank of Thailand (BoT) governor said he predicts the Thai economy to expand by 2.8 percent next year as a result of government budget disbursement and investment in mega infrastructure projects.
“The economic growth rate would be higher at 2.8 percent, comparing to 2019’s GDP at 2.5 percent,” said BoT governor Veerathai Santiprabhob, “The 2020 budget bill would pass the parliament, megaprojects are already making progress so as many investment projects; also 5G communication networks will begin and projects related to financial institutions will emerge.”
The governor said Thailand could do better than a 2.8 percent growth projection.
The Thai economy actually had potential to grow by 3.5 to 4 percent next year, he said.
Singapore November factory output falls most in 4-year
Singapore’s industrial output unexpectedly fell in November, marking its biggest drop in four years, in an indication that any recovery in the Asian bellwether economy is likely to be patchy.
Manufacturing output last month fell 9.3percent from a year earlier, data from the Singapore Economic Development Board showed on Thursday, the sharpest decline since December 2015.
That compares with a 0.8percent rise forecast by a Reuters survey of eight economists and a downwardly revised 3.6percent increase in October.
Electronics manufacturing slumped 20.9percent and pharmaceutical production declined 12.7percent.