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UHERO says Asia growth prospects better than rest of world

LAST UPDATED: 4:36 p.m. HST, Dec 7, 2012

Prospects for economic growth are better in Asia than for most of the rest of the world in the coming year, according to a report released today by the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization.

The optimism is based on the resiliency of the region’s developing countries, which are less susceptible to the slowdown in global trade than their more developed Asian neighbors, researchers reported.

 The biggest drag on global economic growth is the ongoing debt crisis in Europe and the “stuttering U.S. recovery,” according the report.

“Higher-income Asian economies have suffered the most from the trade falloff,” the researchers wrote. “At the same time labor markets and fiscal conditions in East and Southeast Asian developing countries remain far stronger than the developed world. As a result, growth prospects for the region continue to look rosier than in much of the rest of the world, if softer than we saw in the early post-crisis rebound.”

The countries that most trade dependent -- including Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong -- have seen the sharpest slowdowns over the past year, according to the report. Conditions have held up better in many of the emerging countries where domestic consumption and investment demand has largely offset the effects of lower export earnings, the report said.

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