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Spire’s insights on the global economic slowdown

12 October 2012
Channel NewAsia – Asia Business Tonight 

Spire’s insights on the global economic slowdown

Slow economic growth in Europe and the West is beginning to affect the Asia-Pacific region, resulting in sluggish growth in emerging markets. Spire Research and Consulting was invited to comment on global economic conditions on Channel NewsAsia – Asia Business Tonight.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that the Asia Pacific had posted its lowest economic growth since the financial crisis in 2008. In the wake of the economic slowdown witnessed in the West and Europe, Leon Perera, Chief Executive Officer of Spire Research and Consulting, noted the negative effect on Asian countries, as they were dependent on foreign direct investments, exports, tourism and other linkages to the West, and would not be completely insulated from the slowdown. However, strong sources of domestic growth within Asia, such as the robust consumer demand in Indonesia and China as well as the capability for strong government spending, would help cushion the effect.

Commenting on China snubbing the IMF World Bank meetings held at Tokyo this year, Perera shared that it would not have a diminishing effect on the meetings, as it was more of a bilateral issue between China and Japan. Though China is a major player in world financial market, its decision-making power within the IMF is not in line with its economic weight.

Referring to the differing viewpoints of European and US leaders on austerity, Perera opined that Europe was leaning towards a pro-growth stance. However he added that it was natural that Germany would impose more conditions on bail-outs, as it was financing much of the bailout.

Also, Perera commented that it was necessary to give Greece an additional two years to bring its budget deficit to a level that would meet its international obligations. He explained that Greece should use the grace period to reform and restructure its system of civil service compensation and entitlements, as well as implement measures to stimulate competitiveness.

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