The IMA Asia team is out touring the Asian region with their forecasting meetings, and sent me their notes on the subject. They are slowly becoming more optimistic.
The positive political developments in India and an expected win for President Yudhyono in Indonesia suggest stability that allows the governments to get on with dealing with economic problems. (And of course, that’s true in the US as well.) Asia’s economic risk profile looks good compared with much of the rest of the world.
Their three scenarios:
Middle case (most likely at 60%): The advanced economies will contract in 2009, and have zero growth in 2010; “developing Asia” will expand 4.8% in 2009 and 6.1% in 2010.
Worse case (20% probability): Continued problems in the financial sector, developing problems in the airlines and other debt-heavy sectors prolong the recession into 2011 or 2012.
Better case (20% probability): Effective policy-making underpins revived consumer and investor optimism. The market revives by end-2009 or early 2010.
They point out that the positive case and negative case are equiprobable now.
It’s an interesting perspective, I think. Many people expect Asia to lead the recovery.