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April 4, 2019

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Home » Business » Economy

Asia seen taking slow road to development

GROWTH in developing Asia could slow for a second straight year in 2019 and lose further momentum in 2020, the Asian Deve2lopment Bank said yesterday, warning of economic risks from China-US trade tensions and a potentially disorderly Brexit.

Developing Asia, which groups 45 economies in the Asia-Pacific region, is expected to grow 5.7 percent this year, the ADB said in its Asian Development Outlook report, slowing from a projected 5.9 percent expansion in 2018 and 6.2 percent growth in 2017. The 2019 forecast represents a slight downgrade from its December forecast of 5.8 percent. For 2020, the region is forecast to grow 5.6 percent, which would be the slowest since 2001.

“The trade conflict between the People’s Republic of China and the United States could undermine investment and growth in developing Asia,” Yasuyuki Sawada, ADB’s chief economist, said in a statement.

The lender also cited uncertainties stemming from US fiscal policy and a possible disorderly Brexit as risks to its outlook because they could slow growth in advanced economies and cloud the outlook for the world’s second-largest economy.

“Though abrupt increases in US interest rates appear to have ceased for the time being, policy-makers must remain vigilant in these uncertain times,” Sawada said.

By region, South Asia will remain the fastest growing in Asia-Pacific, with the ADB predicting an expansion of 6.8 percent this year — lower than its previous forecast of 7.1 percent — and 6.9 percent next year.

From an estimated 7 percent growth in 2018, India’s economy is projected to expand at a faster pace of 7.2 percent in 2019 and 7.3 percent in 2020, the ADB said, as lower policy rates and income support to farmers boost domestic demand.

This year’s growth forecast for Southeast Asia was trimmed to 4.9 percent from 5.1 percent, as the Manila-based lender expects Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand to grow slower than previously thought.


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