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May 11, 2010

Inside Asia's Economic Recovery

Catherine New
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“Asia is leading the way in the recovery of the world economy,” Professor Shang-Jin Wei said in his introduction of Jong-Wha Lee, chief economist of the Asian Development Bank. Lee spoke at the School on April 20, 2010, in an event sponsored by the Center on Japanese Economy and Business and the Jerome A. Chazen Institute of International Business. Wei, director of the Chazen Institute, is coeditor of the recently published book, China’s Growing Role in World Trade (University of Chicago Press, 2010).

Lee outlined several key messages in his presentation, saying that Asian recovery was taking “firm hold.” He predicted 1.7 percent growth in GDP for major industrial economies in 2010 and the number moving to 2.0 percent for 2011. In contrast, the figures for GDP growth in Asia are 7.5 percent in 2010 and 7.3 percent in 2011, he said. Drivers for Asia’s strong recovery included growth in private consumption and investment.

Lee also discussed inflation — on the rise but manageable — and the risks stemming from uncertain global recovery and volatile capital flows. He said Asian economies will gradually unwind stimulus support and shift to private demand in the future.