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Asia has ample room to fight eurozone turmoil spillovers: IMF official

(Xinhua)

11:05, January 31, 2012

WASHINGTON, Jan. 30 (Xinhua) -- Key Asian economies including China still have ample policy action room to respond to spillovers of the escalating eurozone debt crisis, a senior official from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Monday.

Anoop Singh, director of the Asia and Pacific Department of the IMF, told a press conference that despite the eurozone debt crisis, the epicenter of the global economic recovery risks, Asian economies "have proven generally resilient to turbulence in global financial markets and have helped support global growth."

Economic activity has slowed across Asia and Pacific region since last September as export growth lost steam in the face of weaker growth in regional and global trading partners, he said.

However, Singh stressed that hard landing would not be a possible scenario in China, although China and other Asian economies were experiencing the contagion effects of the eurozone debt crisis, adding that the world's largest developing country had great fiscal policy room to address uncertainties.

Singh noted that those Asian countries with low levels of public debt could take another round of fiscal stimulus moves to bolster economic growth and social safety nets, if severe downside risks materialize.

The Washington-based global lender predicted last week that Asia would remain a bright spot in the dim global economic growth prospects weighed down by the eurozone debt turmoil, with China's economy forecast to expand by 8.2 percent and 8.8 percent in 2012 and 2013, respectively.

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