Volume 4 • Issue 2 | July 2020

Economic Growths of ASEAN-5 Countries Impacted by Global and Domestic Credit Risks

Jin-Chuan Duan, Yanqi Zhu

Abstract: The five founding members of ASEAN - Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand (a.k.a. ASEAN-5) have maintained moderate economic growths over the past decades. The role of the credit risk cycle in predicting the economic growths of the ASEAN-5 countries is the focus of this paper. Our analysis suggests that the aggregate credit risks of Malaysia and Singapore co-move strongly with the global credit risk cycle while those of Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines are more sensitive to regional/domestic credit risk shocks. By comparing to a benchmark growth forecasting model with typical macroeconomic indicators, we find that information on credit risk environments improves the model’s explanatory power considerably. The economic growths of all except for Indonesia respond significantly to either global or domestic credit risk movements, or both. Not surprisingly, inclusion of more updated and readily available credit risk assessments arriving intra-quarter can, in a spirit similar to nowcasting, further boost the model’s forecasting performance on economic growths.

JEL classification: O47,P25,E51,E37