Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2011: Year-end Update "Steering Asia-Pacific Development Through Global Turbulence"

Review report9 Dec 2011

The Asia-Pacific region is facing the challenge of coping with a sharp deterioration in the global environment, impacting the region’s growth prospects in 2012. As forewarned by ESCAP, the developed economies of the world remain mired in the economic crisis which erupted in 2008. The impact on Asia-Pacific countries at this stage of the crisis will be on the financial markets through capital outflows due to global uncertainty, and more fundamentally on output due to shrinking demand for exports.

A number of countries in the region have also been severely impacted by the effects of floods and other natural disasters, which have taken lives and caused severe distress as well as negatively affected growth prospects and complicated economic management. Some economies in the region continue to grapple with the challenge of high prices, which presents economies with the balancing act of supporting slowing growth while maintaining price stability.

The Year-end Update of ESCAP’s annual flagship publication, Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2011, considers the implications of these challenges for policymakers in the region. The key message of the Update is the need for countries in the region to stand ready to enact appropriate supportive measures for their economies in response to global instability. Most countries in the region are well-placed to undertake such actions due to their favourable macroeconomic fundamentals and adequate fiscal space. Furthermore, the medium-term challenge for the region is to sustain its development by continuing to rebalance growth through inclusive policies which boost demand while reducing poverty and inequality.