Will the Emerging Market Turmoil be Contained?
Emerging market economies (EMs), as a group, continue to exhibit solid growth. This is the case especially in Asia and among oil-exporters, supported by growth in the advanced economies, the recovery in world trade, and the resilience of non-oil commodity prices. However, financial markets have become very nervous about the prospects for several EM, reflecting specific weaknesses in several countries – Argentina and Turkey stand out - and the prospect of higher international interest rates. Though many lessons from past crises have been learnt, economic fundamentals in the EM vary greatly, and contagion is quite possible. The current episode will probably remain contained and the ongoing global economic expansion is unlikely to be derailed. However, if international risks – such as an escalation in trade conflicts – materialize, this picture could change quite suddenly. The MENA region is more sheltered than other EM from the turmoil, but it is certainly not immune, and caution is required.