Economy

ADB Chief Economist Shang-Jin Wei

ADB chief economist

Roll out reforms while oil prices are low

MANILA -- Global oil prices have fallen rapidly to almost a six-year low. With this trend seen to stay for a certain period of time, the likely winners are the oil importers and the losers seem to be the exporters. But how can Asian economies -- both...

  • Economists' estimates

    Japan likely returned to growth in October-December

    TOKYO -- The Japanese economy appears to have expanded during the October-December period, marking the first growth in three quarters thanks to a long-awaited recovery in consumer spending. Real gross domestic product grew an annualized 4% last q...

  • Auto sales

    Southeast Asia region sees first drop in 5 years

    BANGKOK -- New-car sales in six major Southeast Asian countries declined 10% to 3.21 million vehicles in 2014, the first such decline in five years. Sales in Indonesia, the region's largest market, slid 2% to 1.2 million vehicles. The appetite of...

  • Duty-free appeal

    Spending by Japan visitors soars 52% in October-December

    TOKYO -- Spending by foreigners visiting Japan jumped 52% on the year in the October-December period to 560.5 billion yen ($4.7 billion), the government's tourism agency said Friday. The figure is the highest for a quarter since the survey began ...

  • Most AEC milestones met

    Hurdles remain to ASEAN trade integration

    MANILA -- Much work remains to be done by Southeast Asian companies and governments to prepare for the ASEAN Economic Community, set to launch at year end. With 11 months to go, some 80% of targets spelled out in the bloc's economic blueprint hav...

  • Number of foreign workers in Japan hits record-high 787,627

    TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The number of foreign workers in Japan stood at 787,627 at the end of October, up 9.8 percent from a year earlier and marking a record high since 2007, when the government obliged companies to report the number of foreigners in thei...

  • Purisima calls for APEC financial integration

    Philippines to accelerate goods trade

    MANILA -- The Philippines will implement a "single window" system to simplify and speed up processing of exports and imports by year end, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said Friday. Speaking at a forum organized by Nikkei Asian Review, Purisima...

  • Taiwan growth

    4Q economic slowdown as lower oil prices hurt exports

    TAIPEI -- Taiwan's economic growth expanded at its lowest rate in five quarters as falling oil prices hurt the exports of petrochemical products and domestic demand weakened. The island's fourth quarter gross domestic product grew 3.17% year-on-...

  • Regulators fret over frothy stocks

    Market jitters grow over when, how China's central bank will loosen

    HONG KONG -- There is a hot debate going on among China's financial market watchers over a likely loosening of the country's monetary policy. The consensus is that the People's Bank of China, the central bank, will expand the money supply in the near...

  • Japan's industrial output up 1.0% in Dec.

    TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan's industrial output rose a seasonally adjusted 1.0 percent in December from the previous month, government data showed Friday, signaling the economy may have started to recover slowly following last year's consumption tax hike....

  • Japan's Dec. jobless rate improves to 3.4%

    TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan's unemployment rate improved to 3.4 percent in December from 3.5 percent the previous month, the government said Friday. Separate data showed the nation's job availability improved for the third straight month. The ratio of...

  • Japan's December consumer prices up 2.5% on year

    TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan's consumer prices rose 2.5 percent in December from a year earlier for the 19th straight monthly gain, the government said Friday. The core consumer price index, which excludes volatile fresh food prices, stood at 103.2 aga...

  • TPP talks

    Japan could cut tariff on US beef to 10%

    TOKYO -- Japan and the U.S. are negotiating a deal to lower the Japanese tariff on American beef to around 10% over a period of more than 10 years as part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks. Under the plan, the current 38.5% import tari...

  • UN study

    Geopolitical risks cooling investment globally

    TOKYO -- Cross-border investment sank to a five-year low in 2014 as money fled sanction-hit Russia, the increasingly unstable Middle East and North Africa, a United Nations study shows. Direct overseas investment fell 8% to $1.26 trillion last ye...

  • Monetary easing

    Will Australia follow Canada on rates cut?

    SYDNEY -- Market players are turning their attention to the Reserve Bank of Australia as the central bank holds its first policy-setting meeting of the year on Feb. 3. The meeting comes just two weeks after Canada, another big resource-rich economy, ...

  • Itsuo Toshima

    Market skeptical of Fed rates hike in June

    TOKYO -- The Federal Reserve said it would remain "patient" on raising rates, but also declared that the economy has been expanding at a "solid" pace. In a statement released Wednesday, the U.S. central bank admitted that a sharp decline in energ...

  • Further traction expected

    Philippine economy grew 6.9% last quarter

    MANILA -- Philippine economic growth rebounded to 6.9% last quarter, buoyed by improved exports and ramped-up government spending. It was also propelled by quicker expansion in the services, agriculture and industrial sectors, National Statistician L...

  • Bank Negara sees inflation tapering

    Malaysian central bank holds policy rate at 3.25%

    KOTA KINABALU, Malaysia -- Malaysia's central bank is maintaining its overnight policy rate as growing domestic demand and the tapering of inflation are expected to sustain economic growth. Bank Negara said in a statement Wednesday that it is hol...

  • China's stimulus measures

    Massive debt leaves country little leeway

    BANGKOK -- Every time economists expect China to implement a stimulus package, they are disappointed. Financial markets are calling for pump-priming measures as the Chinese economy shows stronger signs of a slowdown, but the government has not respon...

  • Swiss currency cap

    Long-simmering financial woes forced central bank's hand

    GENEVA -- Switzerland's central bank stunned the world when it scrapped its cap on the Swiss franc's value against the euro. But the seeds for the Swiss National Bank's sudden policy U-turn were sown years ago. The SNB, which has played a key rol...