ADB retains growth forecast for Southeast Asia at 5.1 pct for 2018

Source: Xinhua| 2018-12-12 10:06:11|Editor: Li Xia
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MANILA, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has retained its growth forecast for Southeast Asia at 5.1 percent for 2018 assuming robust consumption and infrastructure investment, says a report from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) released on Wednesday.

In a supplement to its Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2018 Update report, the ADB said that the forecast dip in Southeast Asia's growth in 2018 is retained. "But now growth is expected to remain at 5.1 percent in 2019 in light of downward revisions for Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia and Thailand," the report says.

Moreover, it says that "the pace of growth has been maintained since the release of the update in September, but some downside risks for individual Southeast Asian economies have intensified."

The report says that robust domestic demand continued to drive growth in the subregion.

For instance, it says that infrastructure spending remained strong in Brunei, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand but declined in Malaysia.

"Consumption was buoyant despite rising food and transport prices in some economies," the report says.

"Moderation in global demand for exports is, however, dampening growth prospects for the subregion, and particularly for Malaysia and Thailand, in 2018 and 2019," the report says.

On the production side, the report says that Myanmar and Thailand benefitted from improved agricultural output, which languished in Indonesia, Laos and the Philippines in the wake of natural disasters and bad weather.

Moreover, the report says that manufacturing in Malaysia and Thailand was undercut by weaker demand from trade partners, but it expanded in Cambodia and Vietnam.

Meanwhile, it says lower tourist arrivals dragged on service growth in Myanmar and Thailand.

The report says it maintained its growth forecast for Indonesia for 2018 at 5.1 percent. However, it says that growth forecast for 2019 was downgraded slightly from 5.3 percent to 5.2 percent.

The report says it also made downward revisions to Malaysia's GDP growth forecast for 2018 from 5.0 percent to 4.7 percent. "Domestic and external factors similarly prompt a slight downgrade to the 2019 growth forecast from 4.8 percent to 4.7 percent," the report says.

Thailand's growth forecast for 2018 is also adjusted down from 4.5 percent in the update report to 4.3 percent as economic growth in the third quarter slowed to 3.3 percent from a strong 4.6 percent in the second quarter.

ADO is ADB's flagship annual economic publication. The publication provides a comprehensive analysis of macroeconomic issues in developing Asia, including growth projections for major economies.