Regional Economic Outlook Update

Stock.xchngThe IMF has just published the Regional Economic Outlook updates for: Asia and Pacific region, sub-Saharan Africa region and Western Hemisphere region.

According to the Asia and Pacific region report, growth in the region has slowed.  External headwinds played a major role, as the recovery in advanced economies suffered setbacks. Weaker momentum in China and India also weighed on regional economies. For Asia as a whole, GDP growth fell to its lowest rate since the 2008 global financial crisis during the first half of 2012. Growth is projected to pick up very gradually, and Asia should remain the global growth leader, expanding over 2 percentage points faster than the world average next year. However, considerable downside risks remain, in particular with regard to the euro area crisis.

The sub-Saharan Africa region report finds that economic conditions have remained generally robust in the area despite a sluggish global economy. The near-term outlook for the region remains broadly positive, and growth is projected at 5 1/4 percent a year in 2012-13. Most low-income countries are projected to continue to grow strongly, supported by domestic demand, including from investment. The outlook is less favorable for many of the middle-income countries, especially South Africa, which are more dependent on European markets and therefore might experience a more noticeable drag from the external environment.

According to the Western Hemisphere region report, growth in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) area has softened since the IMF’s April report, reflecting the larger-than-anticipated impact of earlier policy tightening and the somewhat less favorable external environment. Global downside risks have increased, as the crisis in Europe continues to simmer, and the U.S. fiscal cliff looms.