Wednesday, 23 September 2009

ADB raises Asian growth forecasts

The Asian Development Bank has raised its growth forecasts for developing Asia.

Developing Asia is proving to be more resilient to the global downturn than was initially thought, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) says in a new major report.

The Update to ADB's flagship annual economic publication, Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2009, released today, forecasts economic expansion in developing Asia to come in at 3.9% in 2009, up from the 3.4% expected in March when the ADO 2009 was released. In 2010, the growth projection is likewise upgraded to 6.4% from 6.0%. Stronger growth in East Asia and South Asia underpinned the improved prospects.

China's economy, as usual, will be leading the charge.

... In the People's Republic of China, aggressive monetary easing and the massive fiscal stimulus package rolled out by the Government bolstered the region's largest economy, which is now expected to grow by 8.2% in 2009 and 8.9% in 2010, up from the March forecast of 7% and 8% respectively...

But if you are counting on China's growth to boost commodity prices further, you might want to think again. From FT Alphaville:

You know how China has bolstered hopes for global growth, with its command-stimulus programme sucking in raw materials, supporting commodity prices and generally making the world feel better?

Well, it’s over.

At the very least, China appears to be coming off the boil as central government stockpiling and inventory-rebuilding eases...

Copper imports have come rattling back from the record levels seen earlier this year... [T]he trend is also apparent in sugar, soybeans, and wheat...

Bloomberg also has some details on the fall in metals imports by China.

But maybe the rally in commodities is not quite over yet. From Reuters:

The dollar's return to one-year lows saw copper futures rallying as much as 3 percent on Tuesday, before worries over high inventories of the base metal led the market to settle off the session's highs.

Copper for December delivery HGZ9 ended up 2 percent, or 5.90 cents, at $2.8645 a lb on the New York Mercantile Exchange's COMEX division. The intraday peak was $2.8920, up 3 percent from Monday's close.

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