Emerging Asian economies to see steady, low growth: Reuters poll

http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/topNews/~3/oZTlSXq3Uvo/story01.htm (Reuters) - Growth in emerging Asian countries will be lackluster this year and contribute less to the global economy, despite signs of recovery in the region's major trading partners in the West, Reuters polls showed on Friday.

Much will depend on how China - the world's second-largest economy - performs. After clocking double-digit growth rates on average over the last three decades, China's economy has slowed as the government repositions it to rely more on domestic demand.

The consensus from over 200 economists polled April 15-24 was for growth in economies from China to India, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand to be steady and near last year's largely lackluster levels.

That suggests contributions to the world economy from Asia - which for many years drove global growth - may diminish and the road back to strength could be long and slow.

These latest results are similar to a Reuters poll published last week which showed major global economies will only expand at a modest rate, while other emerging markets - particularly Latin America - are in for a challenging year.

"The region will continue to march forward at a low growth rate - not bad, not great, just what it's done for the past two years. Grumble, stumble," David Carbon, head of economic and currency research at DBS Bank, wrote in a note.

The poll results suggest that the run-up in many stock markets over the past few years on hopes for a strong global pickup that has not yet come may have been overdone.

China's first-quarter growth there weakened to its slowest pace in 18 months, highlighting signs of waning momentum, although the slowdown had been widely expected.

Economists predict a 7.3 percent average growth rate for China this year, which would be the slowest expansion since 1990, and a further cooling to 7.2 percent in 2015.

"Hard landing fears are escalating again even though estimates for GDP growth do not reflect such pessimism," wrote Carbon.

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