Although emerging markets continued to grow in December, the rate of expansion was slower than the previous month, according to the HSBC Emerging Markets Index.
"Emerging economies are no longer expanding at the rapid rates recorded before the onset of the global financial crisis. Nor have they been able to replicate the pace seen in late 2009 and early 2010 during the early post-crisis bounce," Stephen King, HSBC's group chief economist, said. "Still, despite the relative weakness, there is no indication of any imminent descent into recession: consistently over 50, the index remains well above the traumatic levels recorded in 2008 and the first half of 2009."
The EMI is derived from HSBC Purchasing Managers' Index reports in 17 emerging economies. A reading above 50 signals growth, while below 50 signals contraction. The index fell to 51.6 from 52.1 in November.
The HSBC Emerging Markets Future Output Index, which measures firms' expectations of activity in 12 months, showed that Brazilian firms expressed more optimism than their Chinese and Indian counterparts. Russian firms were the least optimistic among the four largest emerging economies.
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