Economic Insight – South East Asia Q4 2012

by ICAEW, 05 December 2012

The ICAEW report expects the growth for ASEAN in the 4%–5% range until 2014, indicating that the global slowdown won’t derail the train of prosperity rolling through South East Asia.

It also addresses the situation of the main countries in the region including, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
  • Indonesia – The economy should grow by about 6.1% this year. A reduction in the growth of business investment and the difficult export position are projected to reduce GDP growth in 2013 to 5.5%, but this should rise 6.0% in 2014 as investment and exports pick up again.


  • Malaysia – The fall in mineral commodity prices is affecting the country’s industrial output, but manufacturing is still performing fairly well; an increase in government spending ahead of a general election is supporting the economy, leading to expected growth of 4.4% this year. The economy should expand by about 3.8% in 2013, followed by 4.0% in 2014.


  • The Philippines – GDP is expected to rise by 5.0% in 2012, due to anticipated healthy consumer spending. Even if industrial production and investment come in lower than this year, the population’s rising prosperity is anticipated to drive output up by 4.1% in 2013 and 4.5% in 2014.


  • Singapore – The effects of weak trade growth that reduces opportunities in the shipping and business services sector and has also hit the manufacturing sector hard. As a result, growth this year is predicted to fall to just 1.4%, down from 4.9% last year. But it will benefit from offering a convenient regional base for international firms looking to expand in prospering South East Asia. In addition, the expansion of the financial sector should boost services. Given these factors, we expect growth of about 3.3% in 2014.


  • Thailand – Growth is expected to be robust this year due to the strong rebound from flood damages, suggesting a rise in GDP of 5.8%. The weak manufacturing activity is likely to affect 2013 growth, holding it down to 4.4%. With strong domestic demand thanks to low unemployment, the economy should grow by about 4.8% in 2014 as export growth picks up.

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