After suffering through some extreme market swings over the past two years, some analysts believe Asia's economies are headed for a relatively boring new year.
"There is no great risk here, even including China," Bhaskar Laxminarayan, chief investment officer for Asia at Pictet Wealth Management, said last week. "It's flat-lined a bit, but it's flat-lined at about 3.5-4 percent [economic growth]. Right from China all the way to Singapore to Taiwan to Korea, we're doing okay," he said.
The region is fully employed and although wage growth has slowed, it hasn't collapsed, he said.
That marks a big change from 2013 and much of 2014 when assets in emerging markets, including parts of Asia, convulsed after the U.S. Federal Reserve first broached its plan to begin tapering its asset purchases in May of last year. That spurred fund outflows amid concerns liquidity would take a hit, weighing on countries with current account deficits.
The selloff saw $14.1 billion exit emerging market equity funds, while $14.04 billion said good-bye to the segment's bond funds in 2013, according to data from Barclays. So far this year, around $2.53 billion has flowed out of emerging market equity funds, although the segment's bond funds have seen net inflows of around $2.58 billion, according to data from Jefferies. Asia-Pacific equity funds have seen around $74 billion in inflows this year, the data show.
Benign macro outlook
Others are also citing a benign macro outlook for Asia in the coming year.
"It's like a Goldilocks situation," Cecilia Chan, chief investment officer for fixed income in Asia at HSBC, said in an exclusive interview. "You've got growth [and] low inflation. It's a nice situation to be in."
Indeed, the worries on Asia's outlook might look like a hill of beans relative to other regions, such as Europe.