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With UBP’s Investment Outlook 2023 wrapping up its global roadshow, our Asia Senior Economist Carlos Casanova takes stock of the major macroeconomic events that marked 2022 in and around China and looks ahead to the landscape unfolding in 2023.
Asian economies have proved resilient, underpinned by factors such as increasing domestic demand, moderate inflation and renewed long-term capital inflows
So despite interest rate rises and high volatility, a consumption-led rebound is expected to start in the spring and to last through 2024
GDP-weighted average growth in Asia, led by China, is forecast at 4.2% vs. a global rate of 2.3% (3.8% for emerging markets)
China is set to be the driver of the region’s outperformance with its strong policy support and reopening momentum, despite headwinds which include low visibility on Covid outcomes, the debt overhang in the housing sector, and the risk of falling demand if recession materialises in the US
2023 began with market optimism that the US could successfully navigate its battle with inflation. Recent data have confirmed our suspicions that getting inflation back to the Fed’s 2% target will be more challenging than markets had been assuming.
As a decade of yield repression comes to an end, building a fixed income portfolio with an acceptable yield has become an easier task. Given a deteriorating economic background and hawkish policymakers, we believe in harvesting the attractive yields offered by short-term quality bonds, which currently have the best risk-return profile.
The steep fall in valuations that started at the end of 2021 disproportionately affected the innovative growth segment of the Japanese market. With the stronger yen, companies that are less vulnerable to global cycles could prove to be the ones to consider.
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