BANGKOK – The economies of developing countries of Asia are expected to record a 6 percent growth in 2017, a decimal point higher than the forecast made in September, the Asian Development Bank said on Wednesday.
The bank, headquartered in Manila, kept the 2018 GDP growth forecast at 5.8 percent and attributed the elevated forecast for 2017 to stronger exports and domestic consumption.
“Developing Asia’s growth momentum, supported by recovering exports, demonstrates that openness to trade remains an essential component of inclusive economic development,” ADB’s Chief Economist, Yasuyuki Sawada, said in a statement.
According to the ADB, higher growth in Central, East and Southeast Asia compensated for the deceleration in South Asia, which continued to be the fastest growing region despite slowing down, with forecasts of 6.5 percent for 2017 and 7 percent for 2018.
The bank predicted a 6.2 percent growth in 2017 for East Asia, 2 decimal points higher than the earlier prediction, due to resilient consumption in China – where 6.8 percent growth has been predicted – and maintained a 5.8 percent forecast for the region in 2018.
For Southeast Asia, the forecast was 5.2 percent for both 2017 and 2018, a rise of 2 and 1 decimal points, respectively.
The forecast for Central Asia has been revised from 3.3 to 3.6 percent for 2017 while maintaining a 3.9 percent prediction for 2018, while the Pacific region is expected to grow at 2.9 percent this year and 3.2 percent in the next, same as predicted earlier.
The ADB also revised forecasts for combined growth for the major industrial economies upward to 2.2 percent for 2017 and 2 percent for 2018, owing to strong domestic demand in the euro area, and private investment in Japan.