Apec economies expected to grow at moderate pace

Carlos Kuriyama, director of the Apec Policy Support Unit.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) economies are expected to continue to grow but at a moderate pace, reflecting uncertainties stemming from trade protectionism, persistent inflationary pressures and geopolitical tensions.

“We are seeing a moderation in economic growth in 2025 and 2026 due to these challenges, as well as fluctuations in commodity prices. These challenges call for stronger multilateral cooperation between member economies,” said Carlos Kuriyama, director of the Apec Policy Support Unit, in a statement in conjunction with the unit’s latest report.

The report noted that in 2023, Apec’s gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 3.5%, outpacing the global GDP growth of 3.2%. The expansion was driven by robust household spending amid high consumer confidence, government spending, a healthy services sector and especially the solid recovery in travel and tourism.

The region’s inflation rate has eased steadily, posting an average of 3.9% last year compared to 5.9% in 2022. It is expected to decrease further to 2.9% this year.

However, the report cautioned the economies to not let their guard down.

It also noted that in the past 12 months, 17 currencies in the Apec region have depreciated against the US dollar, ranging from 2.1% to 16.7% as of April 2024.

Another development to watch is the extended drought and increased maritime risks observed at the Panama and Suez canals.

These choke points have led to a significant escalation in freight costs, reaching their peak in late January 2024 and persisting at levels 50% higher than usual, as of April 2024 compared to a year ago.

“Uncertainties have dampened trade activity in 2023, affecting spending decisions and causing sluggish demand.

“Accumulation of restrictive and unpredictable trade policies such as anti-dumping measures and tariffs can further curb trade activity,” said Glacer Niño A Vasquez, a researcher with the unit. — Bernama

Follow us on our official WhatsApp channel for breaking news alerts and key updates!


Next In Business News

VS rewards shareholders with proposed 1-for-10 bonus issue of warrants
Systech partners with EISSB for AI data centers and solutions
Ringgit ends flat versus US dollar
Setting the stage for gig workers
Exploring fuel alternatives
Tengku Zafrul: Embrace AI to achieve significant productivity improvements
Is the market rally sustainable?
Sunway to acquire shares in Daiwa Sunway Development for RM25mil
Subsidy cuts a necessary ‘evil’
MBSB Bank committed to helping authorities nab syndicate

Others Also Read