Fri, Jul 21, 2017 - Page 10 News List

Demand boosts Asian growth: ADB

IMPROVED ENVIRONMENT:The bank raised its growth forecasts mainly due to external factors, but India, South Korea and central Asia benefited from changes at home

AFP, MANILA

Surging global demand for Asian exports and low oil prices will help China and the region’s developing economies grow faster than expected this year and next, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said yesterday.

The region should now grow by 5.9 percent this year and 5.8 percent next year, the Manila-based lender said in a report.

The bank updated its earlier forecasts, released in April, that predicted 5.7 percent growth for the region this year and next.

“Unanticipated external demand has improved growth prospects for developing Asia,” the bank said.

“The resulting boost to net exports all but suspends growth moderation” in China, the region’s largest economy, it added.

Developing economies in Asia grew by 5.8 percent last year.

China’s economy grew by a stronger-than-expected 6.9 percent in the first half of this year, which should help it expand by 6.7 percent for this year and 6.4 percent next year, it added.

The growth outlook for the manufacturing dynamos of East Asia is brighter, with South Korea energized by receding political uncertainty with the election of a new president, it said.

The bank maintained its 7.4 percent growth forecast for India this year and 7.6 percent for next year, primarily from strong consumption, and the rest of South Asia’s prospects also remained robust.

Southeast Asia is on track to meet forecasts of 4.8 percent growth this year and 5.0 percent next year, helped by high first-quarter growth in Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore, the bank said.

The bank upgraded its forecast growth for the former Soviet republics of central Asia, with Armenia, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan uplifted by manufacturing and mining.

The bank maintained its earlier projections for Pacific island economies.

It revised its inflation outlook for developing Asia by 0.4 percentage points this year to 2.6 percent, and by 0.2 percentage points next year to 3.0 percent.

“Ample supply has held world oil prices low despite rising demand, while favorable weather has kept food prices stable,” it said.

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