Asian growth to match views
Steel pipes are seen at a port to be loaded onto ships for export to various countries in Lianyungang, eastern China's Jiangsu province on December 1, 2015. AFP PHOTO
Dubai - Expansion seen steady in 2015, 2016 despite softening in some markets
By Staff Report
Published: Thu 3 Dec 2015, 11:00 PM
Last updated: Fri 4 Dec 2015, 8:00 AM
Asia's developing economies remain on track to post growth of 5.8 per cent in 2015 and six per cent in 2016, as the region's economies remain resilient to continued economic weakness in industrialised countries, says a new Asia Development Bank report.
In a supplement to the September 2015 Asian Development Outlook Update report, the ADB maintained growth projections for the region, with a slight upgrade of growth forecasts for China offset by downward revisions to the forecasts for Central Asia and the Pacific. The growth outlook for the major industrial economies has also been downgraded.
"Although we have seen some softening in a number of economies, the broader regional outlook is for continued steady growth," said ADB chief economist Shang-Jin Wei.
"The region's growth is supported by vibrant private consumption in China and expanded industrial production in India and other countries. At the same time, countries reliant on commodities are hurting from the global slump in prices, and the slower-than-expected recovery in the US and economic contraction in Japan will continue to weigh on export prospects."
East Asia's growth forecast is maintained at six per cent for 2015 and 2016. China will expand 6.9 per cent this year, slightly more than the 6.8 per cent previously projected. Despite an ongoing housing overhang and excess industrial capacity, China's economy has remained resilient, supported primarily by private consumption and services. Central bank and government measures to stabilise the economy and to bolster small- and medium-sized enterprises are also providing some comfort, and in 2016 the economy should expand 6.7 per cent, supported by further growth in consumption and services.
South Asia's outlook remains positive, with the subregion on track to meet previous growth projections of 6.9 per cent in 2015 and 7.3 per cent in 2016. Continued strength in India is supported by growth in industrial production, public capital expenditure and retail sales. This is helping to offset slowdowns seen for Bhutan, the Maldives and Nepal.
Growth prospects for South-east Asia also remain unchanged from the ADB's September Update, with forecasts at 4.4 per cent for 2015 and 4.9 per cent for 2016. A slight softening is seen for Indonesia, the largest economy in the subregion, as a result of lower-than-expected budgetary disbursements and ongoing weakness in exports.
The growth outlook for Central Asia has been downgraded in both 2015 and 2016 to 3.2 per cent and 3.7 per cent from 3.3 per cent and 4.2 per cent, respectively, as continued low commodity prices, particularly oil and gas, and the slow recovery in the Russian Federation remain a drag on economic performance. Energy importers such as Armenia, Georgia, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan are seeing a slowdown in domestic consumption as a result of lower remittances, particularly from the Russian Federation.
Pacific economies are also seen posting growth below the ADB's September Update estimates, with delays in several large investment projects undermining growth prospects for Timor-Leste and weak commodity prices causing revenue shortfalls for Papua New Guinea, which is weighing on the government's public spending plans. For 2015, growth for the subregion is now seen at 6.3 per cent from 6.7 per cent in the September Update, and at 3.8 per cent in 2016 from 3.9 per cent previously.
The ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members - 48 from the region. In 2014, ADB assistance totalled $22.9 billion, including cofinancing of $9.2 billion.
Steel pipes at a port in Lianyungang, Jiangsu province. The Asian Development Bank says China’s economy will expand 6.9 per cent in 2015. — AFP
The central business district in Beijing on Thursday. The Asian Development Bank says China will expand 6.9 per cent in 2015. — AFP