Selangor Journal
People walk past the logo of the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2023 at Davos Congress Centre in the Alpine resort of Davos, Switzerland, on January 15, 2023. — Picture by REUTERS

Outlook for South Asia, East Asia, Pacific remains positive — Chief economists

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 15 — The outlook for South Asia, East Asia and the Pacific remains positive and broadly unchanged compared to the last survey, with a strong majority of chief economists surveyed (93 per cent and 86 per cent, respectively) expecting at least moderate growth in 2024, according to the World Economic Forum’s latest Chief Economists Outlook report.

It said China is an exception, with a smaller majority (69 per cent) of chief economists expecting moderate growth as weak consumption, lower industrial production and property market concerns weigh on the prospects of a stronger rebound.

Meanwhile, the report said more than half (56 per cent) of chief economists expect the global economy to weaken in 2024, with seven in 10 saying the pace of geoeconomic fragmentation will accelerate.

In Europe, it said the outlook had weakened significantly since the September 2023 survey, with the share of respondents expecting weak or very weak growth almost doubling to 77 per cent.

“In the United States, the Middle East and North Africa, the outlook is weaker too, with about six in 10 respondents foreseeing moderate or stronger growth this year (down from 78 per cent and 79 per cent respectively).

“There is a notable uptick in growth expectations for Latin America and the Caribbean, sub-Saharan Africa and Central Asia, although the views remain for broadly moderate growth,” it added.

The survey, conducted in November-December 2023 and based on 30 survey responses, stated that two-thirds of chief economists expect industrial policies to enable the emergence of new economic growth hotspots and vital new industries.

A majority of chief economists also warned of rising fiscal strains (79 per cent) and divergence between higher- and lower-income economies (66 per cent).

The chief economists surveyed also expect artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled benefits to vary widely across income groups, with notably more optimistic views about the effects in high-income economies.

“A strong majority said generative AI will increase efficiency of output production (79 per cent) and innovation (74 per cent) in high-income economies this year.

“Looking at the next five years, 94 per cent expect these productivity benefits to become economically significant in high-income economies, compared with only 53 per cent for low-income economies,” it added.

The Chief Economists Outlook report was produced in conjunction with the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2024, which takes place January 15 to 19, 2024, in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, convenes the world’s foremost leaders under the theme, “Rebuilding Trust”.

—  Bernama

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