Combined Asean+3 economies set to grow 5.2% this year: Report

The combined economic growth of Asean, China, Japan and South Korea - known as Asean+3 - will be 5.2 per cent this year, amid global uncertainties that may prove disruptive to the outlook.

This was according to the new Asean+3 regional economic outlook report, which predicted that China and Japan will be the main drivers for growth this year.

"Growth in China and Japan is expected to remain stable in 2017, with downside risks from rising United States trade protectionism. Their growth will anchor growth in the Asean+3 region, which is expected to slow slightly to around 5.2 per cent in 2017 and 5.1 per cent in 2018," the report said.

The report was published yesterday by the Asean+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (Amro), a unit set up in 2011 following an agreement among regional finance ministries to create an independent body for economic monitoring.

Amro expects China's growth to be 6.5 per cent this year and 6.3 per cent the next. Japan's economy is likely to grow 1.3 per cent this year and 1.1 per cent next year.

Singapore's growth is forecast to be 2 per cent this year, before rising to 2.2 per cent next year. Emerging economies including Asean member states Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines and Vietnam are all expected to grow at least 6 per cent this year and next.

The overall recovery is, however, still vulnerable to policy uncertainties, Amro said, pointing to US trade and immigration policies as well as upcoming European elections as potential risks.

"In the current uncertain global environment, it would be prudent for policymakers to prioritise financial stability," Amro noted, also urging regional governments to speed up their structural reforms.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 05, 2017, with the headline 'Combined Asean+3 economies set to grow 5.2% this year: Report'. Print Edition | Subscribe