Regional Analysis 2018 Southeast Asia

Knowledge Center

Southeast Asia Market Review - section updated Sept 2018

In this commentary, Southeast Asia is taken as countries bordering the South China Sea, particularly Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Preliminary data reveals that the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) economy recorded another strong quarter at the end of 2017. The economy picked up notably in the second half of 2017 thanks to strong external demand (particularly for technology goods), healthy labor markets and accommodative monetary policies. This obviously varied across each of the countries, which while individually are quite unique in terms of political influences and economic factors, collectively share a blend of low labor costs, freedom of trade and natural resources.

The ASEAN economy picked up notably in the second half of 2017, thanks to strong external demand, healthy labor markets and accommodative monetary policies.

Overall, the outlook for 2018 appears positive, with demand for tech goods expected to remain solid and labor markets continuing to be tight. In addition, upcoming elections in key economies should bode well for government spending. Public spending is contributing greatly to the construction economy across the ASEAN region, with strong evidence that it will continue to perform stronger than private expenditure in many regions.

Contributors: John Butler, Michael Murphy