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The near-term outlook for the Asia Pacific (APAC) region is set to remain sluggish over the next 12-18 months as China gradually moves towards a sustainable growth model, global trade remains lackluster and weaker credit growth hits domestic demand. The positive impact of lower commodity and energy prices on profits and incomes, and accompanying monetary easing, will continue to be offset by the corporate and household sectors' need to reduce debt levels which will weigh on near-term growth prospects. We expect, however, that further monetary easing via lower interest rates and weaker currencies and increased infrastructure spending should minimize the downside risks for the region.
In the absence of a sharp pickup in demand from Europe and the US or renewed pickup in regional leverage, APAC growth is set to average around 5.1% p.a. over the next five years compared to 6.4% p.a. over the previous decade. Despite the tougher macro environment, the region is still expected to contribute more than 50.0% to annual global GDP growth over the next three to five years (measured in Purchasing Power Parity terms), providing significant opportunities for capital targeting the region. Further out, structural reforms – particularly in the services sectors across the region – should help to restore the region's growth premium supported by improvements in productivity. In turn, this should re-establish the outperformance of investments in the region.
Source : UBS AG