According to Robert Carnell, chief economist at ING, 2019 could provide some headwinds for the Asia as the slippage of the manufacturing PMI for China at the end of December into contraction territory is not an encouraging place to start.
“There are reasons to be optimistic. A deal of sorts on trade with the US is possible this year, though I doubt it will come without considerable strings attached for China, and I don’t see a rapid removal of all of the recently imposed tariffs by the end of March. Also, a push towards greater self-reliance as some of President Xi’s latest comments seem to reaffirm, is both possible and to some extent desirable in the current environment of mutual distrust that seems unlikely to dissipate this side of 2020.”
“It will be a busy year for politics in Asia this year, and upsets are possible. Elections are to be held in India, Indonesia, Thailand (possibly), and mid-term elections in the Philipines. Both the Indian and Indonesian elections could see changes in government.”
“Headwinds of slower international trade growth could provide the necessary nudge to get governments thinking about economic reforms and productivity-enhancing policies.”