The IMF slashed its growth outlook for Asia from last year’s 2.7 percent to a new 1.3 percent, saying chances for immediate economic rebound are “weak”. It advised “forceful” fiscal and monetary policies, and encouraged countries to focus on jump starting domestic demand. The severe drop in growth forecasts is a stark contrast with 2008 Asian growth of 5.1 percent. Growth in China for 2009 is expected to be 6.5 percent, 4.5 percent for Hong Kong, a stark 10 percent for Singapore, and 6.2 percent for Japan. Despite a low predicted growth of 3.3 percent, Vietnam is expected to be one of the top Asian performers for this year. Signs of hope are showing in its construction and retail sectors.