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'Risk of a US recession high, India to be hit'

November 03, 2007 12:31 IST
Stephen S Roach, chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia, warned that Asia and India will be hit hard due to a likely recession in the US in 2008, saying "if US sneezes, Asia will catch a cold."

Predicting a significant correction in emerging market equities, which would also not spare the fast rising Indian stock markets, Roach, who is regarded as one of the Wall Street's most influential economists, said he did not believe in the global de-coupling theories.

"The risk of a recession in the US in 2008 is high and rising. If the US goes into recession, you are going to feel it in Asia, you are going to feel it in India," he said.

Roach was in Mumbai to speak on the subject 'Subprime: Canary in a coal mine?' at a lecture organised by Asia Society India Centre.

Roach, who was until recently Morgan Stanley's chief economist in charge of the firm's global team of economists, said Asia as a region, and developing Asia in particular, remains very much an export-led region.

He, however, agreed that India may be little bit less export-dominated compared with other typical Asian economies.

The share of exports in China's GDP is as high as 36.6 per cent. Exports to the US alone are as high as 21 per cent. Same for Japan, the share of exports to US is 22.5 per cent. For Korea, the share of exports to GDP is 36.7 per cent, and US share at 13.3 per cent.

He said Eastern Asia and China would be the biggest victims of a US recession. He added the subprime crisis in the US would serve as a wake up call for central banks around the world.

"I think there could be a significant correction in emerging market equities that certainly could hit the Indian stock market quite hard," he said.

BS Reporter in Mumbai
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