Asia's decoupling: fact, forecast or fiction?

BIS Working Papers No 438
December 2013

Standard measures of real economic co-movement between Asia-Pacific economies and those elsewhere had been observed to follow a downward trend, leading some commentators to suggest that the region was decoupling. However, this process reversed in response to the International Financial Crisis, and co-movement increased to historically high levels for some economies. We examine co-movement patterns and show that these are very sensitive to changes in macroeconomic volatility over time. Controlling for this, however, co-movement is closely linked to underlying trade and financial integration. If international links continue to strengthen in future, co-movement will strengthen in tandem. Decoupling is more a fiction than a fact or a forecast.

JEL classification: F62, E32

Keywords: business cycle co-movement, decoupling