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Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2012   

Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2012

Pursuing Shared Prosperity

In an Era of Turbulence and High Commodity Prices



This work is published for and on behalf of the United Nations.

Paper  Back Book (8 x 10") :   Pages : 234
2012  Edition         :   ISBN - 978-81-7188-969-3
Price : Rs. 895.00 (For Sale in South Asia Only)
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The Asia-Pacific region continues to face a deeply challenging external environment. The V-shaped recovery from the depths of the 2008-2009 global financial crisis in 2010 proved to be short-lived, as the world economy entered the second stage of the crisis in 2011, due to euro zone debt concerns and the continued uncertain outlook for the United States economy. The region will be affected by slackening demand for its exports and higher costs of capital, as well as by loose monetary policies and trade protection measures of some advanced economies.

Despite the slowdown, Asia and the Pacific remains the fastest growing region globally. It also serves as an anchor of stability and has emerged as a growth pole for the world economy. South-South trade with Asia and the Pacific in 2012 will help other developing regions, such as Africa and Latin America, further reduce their dependence on low-growth developed economies.

Another key challenge for the Asia-Pacific region is volatile and high commodity prices, which are likely to become the "new normal" of the global economy. The commodity boom presents risks as well as opportunities. Price shifts will change incentives, but the cautionary message is that less-developed economies should resist the impulse towards commodity specialization, which, in turn, can delay industrialization and economic diversification.

The 2012 edition of the oldest and most comprehensive annual review of development in this vast and diverse region, the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific highlights critical challenges and options for policymakers. These include the need to better manage the balance between growth and inflation; coping with capital flows and exchange rate volatility; addressing jobless growth and unemployment; and tackling serious and growing inequalities.

Turbulence and volatility generate uncertainty. In these challenging times, the Survey 2012 can serve as a important resource to achieve more resilient, inclusive and sustainable development for Asia and the Pacific.




Executive Summary


Explanatory notes


Sources of quotations



Pursuing shared prosperity in an era of turbulence

Second phase of crisis in developed economies

Differentiated exposure of the region to the developed world slowdown

Intraregional flows help foreign direct investment to recover

Natural disasters with regional repercussions

Increased volatility in financial markets

Remittances bolstering resilience

Growth outlook for 2012

Asia-Pacific growth forecast to decelerate

Downside risks euro zone crisis and oil price surge

Key policy challenges for steering Asia-Pacific through turbulence

Managing the growth and inflation balance

Coping with soaring capital flows

Unemployment remains a concern for youth and the vulnerable

Rising income and social inequalities

Mitigating risks from natural disasters

Rebalancing towards better-quality growth

Development-friendly global economic environment and governance



Macroeconomic performance and policy challenges at the subregional level

Diverse performance of subregions

East and North-East Asia

Resilient growth in 2011 amid growing uncertainty

Persistently high inflation poses challenge for policymakers

Fiscal policy normalizes as private sector demand replaces government spending

Monetary policy tightens to combat inflation

Rise in trade moderates amid weakening global economic environment

Capital inflows to the subregion negatively affected

Currencies tread higher against the dollar

Future outlook and policy challenges

North and Central Asia

GDP growth benefits from high commodity prices, while risks mount

Inflation remains high but starts to decelerate

Key macroeconomic policy developments and impacts

Robust export growth, but outpaced by imports

Future outlook and policy challenges


Pacific island developing economies:

Diverse economic performance

Rising inflation rates

Key macroeconomic policy responses

Persistent current account deficits

Future outlook and policy challenges

Australia and New Zealand:

Economic growth slowed partly due to natural disasters

Inflation increased due to domestic supply disruptions from natural disasters

Strong export performance driven by commodity boom

Fiscal consolidation aimed over the medium-term

Monetary policy eased

Future outlook

South and South-West Asia

Growth moderates slightly but remains strong

Inflation remains stubbornly high

Monetary and fiscal policy responses

Current account deficits widened due to stronger growth in imports than exports and slower growth in remittances

Future outlook and policy challenges

South-East Asia

Growth moderates amid global uncertainties and natural disasters

Inflation becomes a greater concern in 2011

Monetary and fiscal policies can further support growth if needed

External positions remain strong despite export slowdown and volatile capital flows

Future outlook and policy challenges



Living with high commodity prices

The commodity boom

The main long-term driver

Effects on terms of trade

Implications for income convergence

The challenges ahead

The need for continuing manufacturing-led growth

The need for balanced economic integration

Avoiding the natural resources curse

Coping with high food prices

Adapting to an era of high commodity prices



References and further readings



Statistical annex

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