What Happened: New economic data for September indicates that economies across the Asia-Pacific region are failing to grow, Bloomberg reported Oct. 1. Consumer prices fell in South Korea, the Bank of Australia dropped its interest rate, while China, Malaysia and Indonesia's purchasing manager's index figures all remain in negative figures.
Why It Matters: The poor numbers demonstrate that the region's economies are struggling to overcome the effects of the U.S.-China trade war, China's slowing economy, and continued weaknesses in commodity prices and demand for semiconductors. South Korea, meanwhile, has suffered the heaviest blow, in part because of its new trade war with Japan.
Background: Amid the troubles in the Asia-Pacific region, the World Trade Organization has reduced its 2019 global trade forecast from 2.6 percent growth to 1.2 percent.
- U.S., China: A Sign of Hope for Renewed Trade Talks (Sept. 12, 2019)
- Seoul and Tokyo Stare Each Other Down (July 18, 2019)
- Trump Looks to Open Another Front in the Trade War With China (Aug. 27, 2019)