Asian Emerging Markets – How are They Holding Up Against a Slowing China?

So far this year we’ve seen Asian stocks go into serious decline. With China itself down double digits for the year, many are wondering how Asia’s developing markets, many of whom had been skyrocketing in recent years, are holding up under the pressure.

Here’s a snapshot. We’ve taken YoY data for the month to show you how these economies are doing as compared to this time last year.

Indonesia – Indonesia is down 15.3%. The capital Jakarta was rocked at the beginning of the year by terror attacks, but overall the economy is waning and the Rupiah is under serious pressure. Indonesia isn’t looking great right now.

Malaysia – Malaysia is down 9.2% so far. With global demand slowing, Malaysia’s export-driven economy is likely to continue to decline, but it is holding up better than some of its neighbours on the China slowdown.

Philippines – The Philippines reported 7% growth for 2015, but is overall down 18.6% on the sell-off. With elections due to be held this year and an uncertain future, as China slows, the Philippines isn’t going to see a great 2016 in my opinion.

Thailand – Worse still is Thailand, down 23.4%. What was once considered one of the ‘Asian Tiger’ economies is faring badly amidst the Asian meltdown.

Vietnam – Holding up the best of the bunch is Vietnam. Down only 8.3%, the economy which is widely considered the strongest in South East Asia is not exactly flourishing, but is holding up OK as compared to its neighbours.

All in all, it isn’t a fantastic picture for the developing economies of Asia. Many of them are overly dependent on China growth, and with the EU, Japan and the US all under pressure, it’s hard to see how these largely exported-fueled economies will flourish under current conditions.

China continues to dominate and drag everybody in the region in whichever direction it goes. For now, it seems, that down, down, down!

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Daniel Simmons