Tiger Trap

Illustration for TIME by Robert Neubecker

Over the past several decades, Asia has produced numerous economic miracles as nations transformed from impoverished backwaters into global competitors. But one miracle that has received scant attention has been the way the region in the first half of this decade has enjoyed generally rapid growth — headlined by booms in China and India — without awakening the beast of inflation that so often roars when economies get overheated. From 2003 to 2007, Asian economies (not including Japan) expanded at an average annual rate of 8.1%, triple that of advanced economies. Over the same period, inflation in Asia averaged...

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