Developing Asia to grow by 6%: ADB

MANILA • The Asian Development Bank (ADB) yesterday raised its economic growth estimate for developing Asia to 6 per cent for this year from a previous estimate of 5.9 per cent, citing stronger than expected exports and China's resilience.

The Manila-based ADB kept its 2018 growth forecast at 5.8 per cent.

"Developing Asia's growth momentum, supported by recovering exports, demonstrates that openness to trade remains an essential component of inclusive economic development," ADB chief economist Yasuyuki Sawada said in a report, an update of the bank's previous estimates in September.

China's economy, the world's second largest, is projected to expand by 6.8 per cent this year, higher than the ADB's prior estimate of 6.7 per cent, on strong consumption, the bank said. It kept China's 2018 growth forecast at 6.4 per cent.

By region, South Asia will remain the fastest-growing region in the Asia-Pacific, the ADB said, even after the bank cut its 2017 forecast to 6.5 per cent from 6.7 per cent, with India's growth outlook lowered to 6.7 per cent from 7 per cent.

The recovery in the Indian economy "is more subdued than assumed earlier due to rising crude oil prices, soft private investment growth and weather-related risks to agriculture", the ADB said.

For next year, India's economy is projected to grow by 7.3 per cent, slower than ADB's previous estimate of 7.4 per cent, while the overall growth forecast for South Asia is maintained at 7 per cent.

The growth outlook for South-east Asia was raised to 5.2 per cent for both this year and in 2018, higher than the September forecasts of 5 per cent and 5.1 per cent, respectively, the bank said.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 14, 2017, with the headline 'Developing Asia to grow by 6%: ADB'. Print Edition | Subscribe