Readers expecting a happy new year in 2011

Respondents to our web poll are predicting continued strong growth in Asia this year.
Fireworks across the Hong Kong skyline as the city welcomes what is expected to be another good year for growth in Asia.
Fireworks across the Hong Kong skyline as the city welcomes what is expected to be another good year for growth in Asia.

Our readers are starting the new year with an optimistic spring in their stride, having claimed in our web poll last week that 2011 will be even better than last year for economies in Asia.

The World Bank agrees that Asia’s economic outlook is solid and that the region drove the global recovery in 2010, but said in a recent report that it expects a slight retreat in growth in 2011 as the recovery stabilises.

“The world economy is moving from a post-crisis bounce-back phase of the recovery to slower but still solid growth this year and next, with developing countries contributing almost half of global growth,” the report said.

In Southeast Asia, the bank expects growth to slow from 6.8% in 2010 to 5.2% this year. The key challenge for the region, it says, will be the normalisation of fiscal and monetary policy.

It is a similar story in East Asia, where the bank predicts a slowdown from 9.3% to 8% in 2011 as governments bring an end to stimulus measures and cut budgets.

South Asia, too, will slip back this year, dropping to 7.8% this year after 8.3% growth in 2010.

However, the World Bank was wrong this time last year, when it underestimated the continued strength of the recovery in Asia. Perhaps our readers’ optimism will be rewarded.

In total, 52% said Asia’s economy will out-perform 2010 this year, while 26% predicted it will be about the same and 22% said it will slow down.

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