Growth eases in Asia as investment takes a hit

May 17, 2019

SINGAPORE - A new research note from ANZ Bank says GDP growth slowed in the first quarter of 2019 in the six Asian economies - Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, and the Philippines - that have released data so far.

In aggregate, weaker growth primarily reflected a loss of momentum in exports, which has in turn filtered into domestic investment activity, the report says.

"Together with subdued consumption growth in most economies, it has also resulted in a build-up in inventories."

The ANZ note says that, relative to Q4 2018, the contribution of net exports to GDP has risen, as the slowdown in imports outpaced that in exports.

"While there are some reasons to be optimistic about external demand in H2 2019, the large inventory-overhang and uncertainty surrounding renewed US-China trade tensions may continue to weigh on investment activity," it says. (ATI).