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26 August 2009

Moody’s says Asean economies out of recession

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Nearly all Asean economies have emerged from recession based on second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) results, Malaysian national news agency Bernama reported, citing Moody's

Output was lower compared to the same period a year earlier but higher than the first quarter, spectacularly so in some countries, said Alaistair Chan, associate economist at Moody's, in a report Tuesday.

National accounts data yet to be released, including for Malaysia and the Philippines, are likely to tell a similar story, Chan said.

Malaysia's second-quarter GDP data, due to be out tomorrow, is also expected to show an improvement, albeit milder, he said.

Southeast Asia's bounce was first visible in industrial production, and after reaching a bottom around January, production growth has rebounded in an almost perfect V shape, Chan said.

He said fiscal and monetary stimulus measures have played a large part, but a major factor in some economies has been inventory restocking.

The scale of the inventory reduction among Asean producers will boost growth in subsequent quarters, especially in Thailand, where inventories continued to fall in the second quarter, he added.

Yet the pace of improvement is already slowing, according to Chan. The upward trend in industrial production growth has moderated across all Asean economies, he said, adding that producers have a clearer idea of final demand and are producing at a level that does not induce large changes in inventories.

If this moderation continues, Chan said it will suggest that the rebound in GDP growth in the second quarter is unlikely to be repeated in coming quarters.


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