Outlook spotty for Asian economies, says Merrill

But the region will still outperform other markets.

Merrill Lynch analysts have outlined a muted growth outlook for Asia-Pacific economies, warning equity investors that earnings growth will struggle to exceed single digits in 2003.

Nonetheless, Merrill Lynch still expects Asia to remain attractive relative to global peers, forecasting real GDP growth for the region at 5.2% in 2003, against 2.6% in the US. And although the 3.7% growth predicted for Hong Kong is below the regional average, Merrill's view is still more bullish than that held by many other research analysts.

The growth in exports from mainland China is having a positive effect on trade and related services in Hong Kong, states Spencer White, head of regional equity...

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