IMF says Cambodia's economy remains robust, but slightly down in 2017

Source: Xinhua| 2017-10-20 23:17:05|Editor: Hou Qiang
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PHNOM PENH, Oct. 20 (Xinhua) -- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Friday that Cambodia's economy was expected to grow by 6.9 percent this year, slightly down from 7 percent last year.

The Southeast Asian nation's economy is traditionally supported by garment exports, tourism, construction, and agriculture.

Cambodia's 2017 growth would be driven by robust construction and tourism activities, said IMF.

According to government figures, garment exports growth decelerated to 5.4 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2017, compared with 8.4 percent in 2016, as tourist arrivals accelerated to 12.8 percent growth year-on-year during the first six months of 2017, compared with 5 percent in 2016.

On the construction side, the country received a total investment of 4.94 billion U.S. dollars in the first six months of 2017, up 27 percent over the same period last year.

Construction and real estate remained strong, supported by demand for housing from Cambodia's young and growing middle-income population, the IMF said.

"Looking ahead, the outlook is positive, although challenges remain. Real GDP (Gross Domestic Product) growth is projected to remain robust over the next few years," it said. "Growth is then expected to slow over the medium-term to around 6 percent, due to moderation in the credit and real-estate cycles and ongoing challenges in improving economic diversification and competitiveness."

According to the IMF, the country's inflation rose to 3.5 percent in the first half of 2017, up from 3 percent in 2016, mainly driven by higher food and energy prices.