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News Forum - Post-Omicron, Asian economies accelerate into recovery mode


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Across most of South East and Eastern Asia, Covid is now on a sharp retreat, some 2 – 3 months after similar surges and drops in the US, UK and Europe. Except for 3 countries, Japan, China and Thailand, where the daily numbers, fuelled by Omicron variants, are still climbing. These same 3 countries have been among the most risk-averse to reopening their borders without restrictions. In China, a strict zero-Covid policy remains in force. Japan still bans all inbound tourist traffic, although it now allows business, diplomatic and education travellers to return since March 1. Thailand, whilst easing entry […]

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It is quite difficult to assess Thailand’s situation based on the official “statistics” which have been highly manipulated. 

If you look at the full “unofficial” infection number, Thailand probably peaked two weeks ago. For the most part, the official figures have retained  markedly similar trend between 22,000-28,000 cases per day. 

No other country in the world looks like this. Unfortunately the failure to provide real infection statistics has lead to an inability to know when the peak has occurred and how to respond. 

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They can talk about peaks and declining numbers until the cows come home. The fact is that when they really open up, the infections will rapidly increase. If they think it’s bad now, wait until packed nightclubs are open and all the schools are fully open and no mask wearing. Brace yourself! 

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"Post-Omicron, Asian economies accelerate into recovery mode"

I have heard this comment made before, but it is quite misleading. Yes, perhaps there will be an economic recovery, but that is mainly because the economy fell so far in the last two years; any increase in economic activity is a "Recovery"; it doesn't mean that all will do well.

"Many asian governments were also averse to handing our large amounts of fiscal stimulus during the first 2 years of the Covid pandemic, putting them in a better position for quick recovery than some of their western counterparts which now have to cope with vastly increased national debt from their quantitative easing policies."

It is the paragraph quoted above which is the problem in this debate; there is an assumption that as the Asian Governments didn't spend too much before, their countries are in good shape now.

I call BS.

Yes, it is true that the governments didn't increase social spending to help the populace and that in turn they don't currently have high debts, but does anyone think that extra spending did not occur? Does anyone think that people who lost their jobs or businesses that lost sales didn't eat through their savings and/or capital? Does anyone think that family members didn't help those in their families that were un/under employed? Has anyone seen the current, accurate number of Non-Performing Loans (NPLs)? Does anyone have data on how much 'Somchai on the Street' owes the loan sharks? And, what specifically he pledged to them? Governments didn't go into debt, rich people had government help (ever notice that Bangkok Malls were allowed to open, but a small bar wasn't?) so they are okay, but proverbial 'Somchai on the Street' is drowning in debt, and if proverbial 'Somchai on the Street' was working in the tourism sector, he is dragging family and friends under the water with him. 

Asian governments don't have massive debts, but the average, non High-So Asian person does; they'll need years and years to get out of their debt hole while governments will be touting 'progress'.

This 'quick recovery' theory is nothing more than the old, disproved, 'Trickle-Down' economics BS. In not supporting 'Somchai on the Street' during Covid, Asian governments will now spend, as usual, for the wealthy and the large businesses and call it a 'recovery'.

And, 'Somchai', his wife and his children will fall further behind.

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Statistics and finance are two areas where the numbers can be projected as rosy as wanted. It is all the number game. But whether they wanted to promote on the roses or on the thorns, depending on the presenter. However both ways they loose to reality.....

Edited by Ramanathan.P
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IMO. The number of tests you perform limit your results, which goes some way to explaining the similarity of numbers for positive tests recently. It’s probably far higher. So far, every variation since Omicron has been more infectious and less serious. 

It has become more and more obvious of late that you CANNOT control this virus. All you can do is slow it down and extend the time it takes to peak, but inevitably it will do what does, infect, peak, mutate and hopefully take another step toward becoming less serious and eventually endemic.

How fast this happens depends on the amount of effort put into preventing it. Most countries in the world now seem to have accepted this and restrictions are removed. Others listed as not recovering so well are those that still think they can control a virus that as mentioned previously, cannot be controlled.

Today, tomorrow, next week, next year. When the penny drops and the doors are opened, there will be, IMO a huge peak. But that is something that is going to have to happen, as it has in other countries that dropped restrictions, only then like other countries will there be a chance of a better economic recovery. 

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31 minutes ago, BBY said:

When the penny drops and the doors are opened, there will be, IMO a huge peak

Watching the Australian F1 GP, today, I am waiting for numbers from Australia, in a weeks time or such. The only ones with a mask, on and around that track, seemed to be the McLaren Team. 🤪

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