At the turn of the year, Asia's economies appear remarkably resilient. But looks can be deceiving. Beneath the surface, challenges to growth and prosperity are mounting. The year 2017 is when Asia needs to show resolve and tackle long-needed reforms. Alas, the political calendar renders this unusually tricky, raising the risk of further policy paralysis and economic stagnation for years to come.
Volatile financial markets notwithstanding, Asian economies have recovered in recent months from the growth scare and financial turbulence earlier in 2016. In China, activity bounced, helped by soaring infrastructure investment and robust housing construction. Japan's economy, too, fared a lot better toward year-end thanks to surprising gains in exports and industrial production.