ADB: East Asia Could See Sharp Rebound

BANGKOK (AP) -- East Asia's emerging economies could rebound sharply next year with the region already moving from recession to recovery, the Asian Development Bank said Thursday.

The deep slumps in the U.S., Europe and Japan will continue to hurt export-dependent East Asia this year but it could expand at a rapid clip in 2010, the development lender said in a semiannual economic report.

"Emerging East Asia could see a V-shaped recovery, with growth dipping sharply in 2009 before regaining last year's pace in 2010," the bank's chief economist Jong-Wha Lee said in a statement.

But growth won't recover to the levels enjoyed before the financial crisis until major industrialized economies recover as well, he said.

"We need two engines: China and major industrial economies," Lee told a press conference.

China's stimulus spending is already showing results in boosting its domestic economy, the Manila-based ADB said.

The ADB groups 10 Southeast Asian nations plus China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and Taiwan as emerging East Asia.

In March, the ADB predicted a 3 percent growth rate in 2009 for emerging East Asian economies overall and 6 percent growth in 2010, which is still below the 9.7 percent rate in 2007.

It didn't change forecasts in the report released Thursday.

New forecasts for 2009 will be released in September.

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