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Developing economies are leading the world in economic recovery after the global financial crisis and will become an increasingly more important part of the international economy, says an index prepared by banking group HSBC.

HSBC on Wednesday launched its emerging markets index (EMI), based on data from more than 5000 purchasing managers from companies in 13 emerging countries, such as China and India.

HSBC placed Australia in the emerging economies group, due to factors such as population growth and infrastructure stgelopment pipeline, rather than with stgeloped economies.

The index shows that emerging markets manufacturing and services output has recovered more swiftly and to a higher level than stgeloped economies since the financial crisis last year.

The HSBC EMI shows emerging markets manufacturing and services output surged in the third quarter of 2009 to 55.3, from 50.7 in the second quarter of this year.

The index hit an all-time low of 43.8 in the fourth quarter of 2008.

Any reading above 50 signals expansion.

HSBC chief economist Stephen King said the index showed that while there were some encouraging signs of recovery in the stgeloped world, the real economic action was taking place elsewhere.

“Although the US remains the most important trading partner for many emerging nations, its relative importance is declining,” Mr King said.

HSBC expects emerging nations to post economic growth of six per cent next year, while stgeloped world will expand by only 1.8 per cent.

HSBC group chairman Stephen Green said that as the world’s economic centre of gravity shifted from west to east, the economic strength of emerging markets would play an increasingly central role in the stgelopment of financial markets and international relations.

HSBC head of global markets Tony Cripps said the implications for the Australian economy from the switch from stgeloped to emerging-led economic growth were positive.

He said the switch ould continue to increase demand for commodities and push up commodity prices.

Mr Cripps said markets such as China would become more influential determinants for the Australian dollar than the US.