A pick-up in spending ahead of several elections in Asia this year will boost the consumer sector even though the region is bracing for slowing growth, an analyst told CNBC's "Street Signs" on Tuesday.
"We do like the theme of populist spending pre-elections," said Corrine Png, regional equities research head at AIA Investment Management — the asset management arm of the Asian life insurer.
Png cited the consumer sector as one of the investment firm's top picks for 2019, even as market consensus has predicted GDP growth for Asia ex-Japan to slow to 5.7 percent. That's in comparison to a 10-year average of about 7 percent for the region, she added.
Thailand has lined up a number of schemes including welfare programs to help the poor in utility payments and cash handouts for low-income workers, while the Indonesian government is rolling out cash food aid programs and setting up village funds, according to a Jan. 4 note by DBS Group Research.
Such stimulus will help boost consumer spending, especially in rural areas, DBS noted.