Prospects and pitfalls of an Asian recovery in 2009

Despite recent negative news, a recovery in the Asia-Pacific region is possible in the second half of 2009, but any further shocks will be difficult to counter.

Until September 2008, the Asia-Pacific region was showing reasonable, if moderating growth even as concerns about the global financial problem and its spill-over into macroeconomic performance intensified. During this period, there was some hope that regional momentum would continue, driven by domestic and intra-regional trade.

The two charts below display growth in exports and industrial production respectively in January-September 2008 over the corresponding period of 2007. The growth levels vary across countries but, for the most part, are...

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