ETF Trends
ETF Trends

Asian economies and related exchange traded funds (ETFs) could get an assist from its domestic consumption, but not all the economies are going to move in lockstep.

It is unlikely that the Asian tigers will be returning to large growth rates of years past and domestic demand alone could show growth of almost 7% in emerging Asia, according to The Economist. Economists now expected that China may have GDP growth of 8%.

Growth in smaller, export-driven economies such as Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan could remain more moderate. Global demand still makes up a large factor for these countries and rising unemployment will reduce consumer spending.

  • iShares MSCI Hong Kong Index (EWH): up 25.5% year-to-date
  • iShares MSCI South Korea Index (EWY): up 32.1% year-to-date
  • iShares MSCI Singapore Index (EWS): up 27% year-to-date
  • iShares MSCI Taiwan (EWT) is up 40.2% year-to-date

The IMF projects a 1.6% growth in 2010 for smaller emerging Asian countries, but other economists suggest smaller Asian economies could grow up to 4% or even 7% once China and India start going.

  • iShares FTSE/Xinhua China 25 Index (FXI): up 21.6% year-to-date
  • WisdomTree India Earnings (EPI): up 47.7% year-to-date

The previous downfall of Asian economies is largely blamed on the high savings and low spending rates within the countries, or it can be attributed to the cyclical economic forces that the large manufacturing sectors are now facing. But Asian economies that dropped the steepest as a result of heavy reliance on manufacturing could see a drastic recovery when the time comes.

Fiscal stimulus plans, mostly 4% of GDP, in Asia were larger than in any other region, and so far the big push appears to be paying off. And thanks to low consumer debt, government cash handouts in Asia are also more likely to be spent than saved, which will further fuel domestic demand. Asian banks are in a better position to support increased domestic spending.

Max Chen contributed to this article.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.