Vivek Prakash/courtesy Reuters
Buried in the business section of the New York Times on Thursday, after pages of encomiums to George Steinbrenner, was a story that should have gotten more attention: Singapore’s economy may expand by as much as fifteen percent this year. Fifteen percent. For those who are counting, that’s about four times the projected growth for the United States, and a rate that Greece’s leaders probably would sell the rights to the Parthenon to attain.
In fact, much of South and East Asia appears to be returning to extraordinary high growth, making it the only engine of the global economy still firing. Indonesia is projected to grow by nearly six percent, while China may grow by 10.5 percent and Taiwan by nearly eight percent, among other examples of the regional trend.
But one must still question whether these growth rates truly show a fundamental shift in Asian economies, a shift informed by the global economic downturn. In many major East and South Asian economies, leaders over the past two years have repeatedly paid lip service to the idea that they must rebalance growth to depend less on exports and more on other drivers, including domestic consumption.
Read more »