The economic crisis that began in Thailand in July 1997 has subsequently spread to the rest of Asia. As its impact is felt in the rest of the world economy this crisis could result in slower growth as we approach the next century. On balance industrial countries continue to perform well at the present time — growth is strong in OECD countries with the exception of Japan, external imbalances are the lowest in decades and price stability is better than it has been for decades. However, as spillovers from slow growth and financial turmoil in Asia continue, possible follow-on effects are anticipated. Import growth by Asian economies will slow dramatically and this will drag down industrial countries export growth. Combined with attempts to raise exports by Asia to the rest of the world this will exacerbate trade imbalances with the rest of the world.
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