Asia, Pacific experience more exports, domestic demand

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Economic growth

Growth continues across most of the economies in developing Asia, supported by continued high demand for exports and rapidly expanding domestic demand, says an Asian Development Bank (ADB) report released on Wednesday.

In the new Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2018, ADB forecasts gross domestic product (GDP) growth in Asia and the Pacific to reach 6.0 percent in 2018 and 5.9 percent in 2019, a slight deceleration from the 6.1 percent registered in 2017.

Excluding the high-income newly industrialized economies, the report says growth is expected to reach 6.5 percent in 2018 and 6.4 percent in 2019, from 6.6 percent in 2017.

ADO is ADB’s flagship annual economic publication.

“Economies across developing Asia will maintain the current growth momentum driven by sound policies, expanding exports, and robust domestic demand,” said ADB’s Chief Economist Yasuyuki Sawada.

“Strong regional trade links and rising financial buffers position the region well to withstand potential external shocks, including the risks of rising trade tensions and rapid capital outflows,” he said.

The report says recovery in industrial economies continues, with the United States, euro area, and Japan expected to collectively grow by 2.3 percent in 2018 before slowing to 2.0 percent in 2019. “Recently enacted tax cuts will fuel growth in the U.S. as the Federal Reserve keeps inflation in check through gradual monetary tightening,” it says.

Meanwhile, it says rising business confidence and easy monetary policy will support growth in the euro area and Japan.

It says that strong demand at home and abroad together with economic reforms lay the foundation for continued growth and macroeconomic stability in China.

The report says growth in South Asia remains among the world’s fastest, driven by a recovery in India, the region’s largest economy.

Southeast Asia continues to benefit from the rise in global trade and the pickup in commodity prices, the report says.

It says the subregion is expected to maintain its 2017 growth rate of 5.2 percent in both 2018 and 2019.

“Strong investment and domestic consumption will drive an acceleration in growth in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand, while an expansion in its industrial base will boost Vietnam,” the report says.

The report says Growth in Central Asia is expected to reach 4.0 percent in 2018 and 4.2 percent in 2019, on the back of rising commodity prices.

Meanwhile, it says growth in the Pacific will reach 2.2 percent and 3.0 percent over the next 2 years as the region’s largest economy, Papua New Guinea, stabilizes following an earthquake that temporarily disrupted gas production.

Asian consumers and commodity price rises will fuel higher inflation in the region, the report says.

Regional consumer price inflation is projected to accelerate to 2.9 percent in 2018 and 2019, from the 2.3 percent registered in 2017. Inflation projections for the next 2 years, however, are well below the 10-year regional average of 3.7 percent, the report says. Enditem

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