Excerpts from a speech delivered by Tony Tan Keng Yam


 

There are signs that the global economy is stabilising after the shock late last year. The massive policy support provided by governments and central banks is beginning to work through the world's economies. Confidence is returning and fears of a meltdown in global financial markets and banks have receded. The reaction to the stress tests of major US banks indicate that the markets believe that these banks, with the support of the US government, will be able to weather the economic storm and earn their way out of future prospective losses. This prognosis is far from certain but the markets have chosen to give the banks the benefit of the doubt. Reflecting this, one closely watched measure of confidence, the Treasury Euro Dollar (TED) spread, has recently declined to pre-Lehman levels. The normalisation in credit flows in turn is supporting the recovery in global industrial production. The global growth recovery is being led by economies that are not leveraged and have room for large policy stimulus like China, Japan, India, and other Asian countries. So despite historic falls in real GDP growth in some countries over late last year and early this year - and therefore dismal growth rates for 2009 - the worst seems to be behind us in Asia. Asian Economies are now expected to see continued improvement through 2010. The US and and other major developed economies are also expected to register positive growth later this year.

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