• Asian economic figures coming in suggest a very sharp contraction in the last quarter of 2008 – and potentially much sharper than markets are now expecting.

• Chinese GDP figures to be released tomorrow may show the year-over-year growth rate falling below 6%.

• However, once upon a time, economic forecasts had not just downside risks, but upside risks as well.

• On this note, there is the potential that the sharp decline in energy prices to date may stimulate global consumer spending later this year and provide a lift to Asian trade.

TD Economics Special Report: Emerging Asia: Nature vs. Nurture