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Emerging Asia


Better news on inflation, as growth disappoints

The recent national accounts data show most countries experienced a difficult second quarter. However, there was some more encouraging news on inflation – which already appears to have peaked in a few countries. With growth set to remain weak, and inflation likely to fall back further over the coming months, we are sticking with our view that the region’s tightening cycles will prove short lived.

12 August 2022

The implications of an escalating Taiwan crisis

The extent to which neighbouring countries would be affected by an escalation of tensions between China and Taiwan would depend both on which sides they take and on the nature of restrictions imposed by the West and China. ASEAN countries are most reliant on China both as a source of imported inputs as well as a destination for exports, while major disruptions to semiconductor production in Taiwan would severely restrain Japan’s manufacturing industry despite its smaller trade links with China.

10 August 2022

What a Taiwan Strait crisis could mean for markets

While China-Taiwan tensions haven’t yet caused ructions in global financial markets, any escalation that threatened to disrupt trade and/or financial flows almost certainly would. This Update explores the potential ramifications of such an event across bond, equity and FX markets. Markets Drop-In (9th Aug): Chief Markets Economist John Higgins leads this 20-minute briefing on our latest quarterly Outlook reports from our Global Markets, Asset Allocation and FX Markets services. Register now.  

5 August 2022
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Lift-off for the Bank of Thailand

Thailand is one of the few countries in the region not to have raised interest rates this year, but that looks set to change on Wednesday. We, along with the majority of other analysts, are expecting a 25bp hike to the main policy rate. Further hikes seem likely later in the year and into 2023 but, unlike financial markets, we are not expecting an aggressive tightening cycle.

Taiwan tensions add impetus to decoupling

If China’s military drills off the coast of Taiwan end, as scheduled, on Sunday and there is no further retaliation, this week’s flare-up in tension won’t have a direct economic impact. But it will have added urgency to efforts by China to make its economy less vulnerable to the sanctions that could follow a full-blown cross-Strait crisis. And it should have added impetus to efforts by multinationals to prepare for that eventuality too. We are re-sending this publication due to an error with the previous email. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

China doesn’t appear to want an economic fight

The trade sanctions introduced by China on Taiwan in retaliation for the visit of Nancy Pelosi are small in scope rather than serious efforts to force Taipei to shift course. China is constrained in the economic pressure it can exert unless it is willing to suffer some economic cost itself. So far it doesn’t seem to be.

The economic consequences of an attack on Taiwan

China’s leadership has options other than invasion to coerce Taiwan to submit to its political control. The immediate economic and financial ramifications would differ in each case. But any scenario that upset the existing cross-Strait balance would come with a high risk of further escalation that would lead to a hard decoupling of China from the West. In view of the wider interest, we are also sending this Emerging Asia Economics Focus to clients of our China Service.

Tightening cycles to be short lived as headwinds grow

Further interest rate hikes are likely across the region in the near term, and we have raised some of our year-end forecasts to reflect growing concern among the region’s policymakers about inflation. However, with economic growth likely to slow over the coming months and inflation set to fall back sharply by the end of the year, tightening cycles are likely to be short lived. We think most central banks will be finished hiking rates by early 2023. In contrast, the consensus and financial markets are expecting tightening cycles to continue well into next year.

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