Last week we asked our readers for their 2012 economic growth outlook. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the only clear result was uncertainty, with votes cast fairly evenly across the three main choices we offered: above consensus, below consensus, consensus.
Given the uncertainty facing the global economy in 2012, most of which originates outside Asia, our readers seem to think that there is a good chance the consensus will be wrong, which seems reasonable. The only question is whether the surprise is on the upside or the downside.
By a narrow margin, readers mostly expect growth to disappoint this year. China will be the key. A slowdown in Chinese growth below the 8.6% consensus would have knock-on effects across the region, primarily in countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
For the non-Japan Asia region, the consensus for 2012 growth is around 7%, which is roughly in line with 2011 growth — or just a touch below.
A surprising 14% of readers predicted an apocalyptic "no growth" in 2012.