Asia and Pacific > Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, People's Republic of China

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Mr. Serkan Arslanalp, Mr. Jaewoo Lee, and Umang Rawat
Demographic developments have been regarded as one important cause of the long-term movement in global interest rates. This paper provides empirical evidence of the relationship between demographics and interest rates over a wide sample of advanced and emerging market economies. It also finds that capital account openness limits the direct sensitivity of a country’s interest rates to its own demographics. The results suggest that future demographic developments will continue to apply downward pressure on the interest rates in Asia which foresees a rapid aging.
Mr. Ranil M Salgado

Abstract

The Asia-Pacific region continues to be the world leader in growth, and recent data point to a pickup in momentum. We expect the region to expand by 5.5 percent in 2017, up from 5.3 percent in 2016. Accommodative policies will underpin domestic demand, offsetting tighter global financial conditions. However, the risks to the outlook, on balance, are slanted to the downside. A possible shift toward protectionism in major trading partners could suppress Asia’s trade, while the continued tightening of global financial conditions and economic uncertainty could trigger capital flow volatility. A bumpier-than-expected transition in China would also have large negative spillovers to the region. Beyond the short term, many parts of Asia face secular headwinds from population aging and slow productivity growth. These challenges call for domestic policies that support growth while boosting resilience and inclusiveness. To sustain long-term growth, structural reforms are needed to deal with challenges from demographic transition and to boost productivity.

International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept

Abstract

The November 2008 Asia and Pacific REO focuses on the difficult economic environment facing policymakers in the region. Chapter 1 provides an overview of the outlook for the region. With growth slowing, and the global financial crisis increasingly affecting the region, macroeconomic and financial policies will need to be proactive. Chapter 2 looks more closely at inflation in Asia, finding that it is increasingly imported and volatile, which raises important questions about monetary policy frameworks in the future. Chapter 3 takes a longer-term look at how the expected rapid aging of the region may affect capital flows and financial markets in the years to come.

Mr. Peter S. Heller
Many Asian countries (such as China, Singapore, Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, and the Philippines) will experience a significant aging of their populations during the next several decades. This paper explores how these aging Asian countries are addressing and anticipating the challenges of an aging society. It suggests that Asia's preparedness for an aging population is decidedly mixed. While growth policies have been successful, much work is still needed in many countries to establish an adequate and farsighted policy framework in the areas of pensions, health insurance, and labor market policies.
Mr. Lamin Y Leigh
Hong Kong SAR's population is aging rapidly. This paper concludes that, without a change in policies, aging could adversely affect growth and living standards. While higher labor productivity growth and increased migration of younger skilled workers from the Chinese mainland, would attenuate the economic impact of aging, they would not offset it fully. Aging will also put pressure on public finances, particularly as a result of rising health care costs. There is a relatively narrow window of opportunity to implement policies to lessen the impact of aging, given that the demographic effects could start setting in as early as 2015 when the working population's support ratio peaks. In recent years, the Hong Kong SAR authorities have been focusing on policies that could help limit the fiscal impact of aging, including continued expenditure restraint on non-age-sensitive areas, reform of health care financing (including introducing private health insurance system), and tax reforms.
International Monetary Fund. Research Dept.

Abstract

The World Economic Outlook, published twice a year in English, French, Spanish, and Arabic, presents IMF staff economists' analyses of global economic developments during the near and medium term. Chapters give an overview of the world economy; consider issues affecting industrial countries, developing countries, and economies in transition to market; and address topics of pressing current interest. Annexes, boxes, charts, and an extensive statistical appendix augment the text.

Mr. Athanasios Vamvakidis and Mr. Vivek B. Arora
This paper provides a quantitative assessment of the impact of economic growth in the United States on growth in other countries. Using panel data estimation, the paper finds a significant positive impact of U.S. growth on growth in the rest of the world, especially developing countries, during the past few decades. The evidence suggests that the impact of U.S. growth on other countries can be explained by the significance of the United States as a global trading partner. The paper provides estimates of the direct impact of trade with the United States on growth in several individual countries.
Mr. Ian S McDonald, Serge Bésanger, and Ross Guest
This paper calculates the levels of optimal national saving, investment, and the current account balance for five Asian economies—Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines—for the period 1997–2050 using a simulation approach. These calculations show the sensitivity of results to changing demographic structures on employment participation, labor productivity; and consumption demands. In particular, the simulations reveal that variations in prospective demographic change across economies cause considerable variations in the patterns of optimal national saving rates.
Mr. Steven A. Symansky and Mr. Peter S. Heller
Significant aging is projected for many high-saving emerging economies of East and Southeast Asia. By 2025, the share of the elderly in their populations will at least double in most of these countries. The share of the young will fall. Aging populations could adversely affect saving rates in these economies, particularly after 2025. For the world, one may observe that, initially, the Asian Tigers could become increasingly important for world savings, reflecting their increased weight in the world economy, their high saving and growth rates, and the aging of the industrial countries. After 2025, the aging of the Tigers may reinforce the tendency toward a declining world saving rate.
Mr. Peter S. Heller
The paper assesses the government expenditure effects from changing demographics in the Asian “Tiger” economies through 2050. With some exceptions, their limited social insurance commitments initially suggest that aging populations may not adversely affect fiscal balances. Yet for all the Tigers, changing illness patterns and medical modernization may combine with demographics to intensify budgetary pressures. The paper notes the implications of the Tigers’ reliance on private sector pension and medical insurance systems; the need for an active public role; and the complications for fiscal analysis when private sector instruments are used, in a mandatory way, as public policy instruments.