World Bank: East Asia to see slower growth in 2009

Financial Crisis Posted on

East Asian economies are far better prepared to tackle the latest financial turmoil than they were during their own crisis a decade earlier, but they still face growing dangers as the global slump deepens, the World Bank said Wednesday.

The bank praised the region's policy makers for reacting promptly to the crisis, saying the moves should help East Asia stabilize global economic growth.

Amid falling exports and slowing business investment, real gross domestic product growth in East Asia — a region that includes China but excludes Japan — will slow to 5.3 percent in 2009 from an expected 7.0 percent this year, the bank estimated in a new regional report. Six months ago, the Bank forecast East Asian growth next year to reach 7.4 percent.

The developed economies of the U.S., euro zone and Japan are all projected to contract in the coming year.

Vikram Nehru, the World Bank's chief economist for East Asia and the Pacific, warned that with conditions changing so quickly, the outlook for the region could easily worsen.

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