Offshore Capitalist

As Asia rolls on, a new world order emerges

Asia’s economy is no longer hot, it’s scorching, a shift that will force policy makers in the region to be more aggressive in efforts to contain inflation.

Singapore’s monetary authority increased the value of the island nation’s currency yesterday after a government report showed gross domestic product expanded at a gravity-defying annual pace of 32.1 per cent in the first quarter, the fastest recorded rate dating back to 1975.

Unlike most central banks, the Monetary Authority of Singapore uses the currency instead of interest rates to conduct monetary policy. Singapore’s dollar rose the most in a year after the authority said it would allow “modest and gradual appreciation” of the currency, a move away from its recession-fighting stance of refusing any increase.

China also reported evidence of inflation, saying residential and commercial real estate prices in 70 cities jumped 11.7 per cent in March from a year earlier, a record increase that economists said will force President Hu Jintao’s government to take further steps to constrain its housing market or risk a bubble.

The data provide further evidence that emerging Asian economies represent the biggest engine pulling the world economy out of recession, a show of strength that is recalibrating geopolitics. In a demonstration of their new-found heft, Mr. Hu and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh left President Barack Obama’s nuclear summit in Washington yesterday for Brasilia to meet with their counterparts from Brazil and Russia tomorrow.

via As Asia rolls on, a new world order emerges – The Globe and Mail.

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