Asia growth outlook brightens on strong exports: ADB


Posted at Jul 20 2017 11:20 AM

Employees from a bamboo industry company dry semi-finished bamboo chopsticks in a village in Xingan county, Jiangxi province, China July 16, 2017. Picture taken July 16, 2017. Reuters

MANILA - The Asian Development Bank raised its 2017 and 2018 growth forecasts for the region, reflecting rising exports as manufacturers of smartphones to cars to other consumer goods benefited from improving global demand.

Developing Asia - made up of 45 countries in the Asia-Pacific region - is expected to grow 5.9 percent and 5.8 percent this year and next, the Manila-based ADB said in the update of its Asian Development Outlook on Thursday.

The forecast for the Philippines for 2017 and 2018 was raised by 0.1 point to 6.5 percent and 6.7 percent respectively.

They are a step up from April forecasts of 5.7 percent for both years.

An upturn in global demand since late last year has given trade-dependent Asian economies much needed momentum, with the United States and Europe also showing improving growth.

The update of the Development Outlook raised China's 2017 and 2018 growth forecasts to 6.7 percent and 6.4 percent, respectively, from 6.5 percent and 6.2 percent, driven by strong consumption and improving shipments.

China's economy beat expectations with 6.9 percent growth in the second quarter, in part driven by firmer exports and production, which could heighten trade tensions as the United States and Beijing begin economic talks on Wednesday.

"Despite lingering uncertainties surrounding the strength of the global recovery, we feel that the region's economies are well-placed to face potential shocks to the outlook," Yasuyuki Sawada, ADB's chief economist, said in a statement.

Inflation across the region is expected to remain under control, helped by well-behaved food and fuel prices, the ADB said. It cut this year's inflation projection to 2.6 percent from 3 percent, and next year's forecast to 3 percent from 3.2 percent. -- with ABS-CBN News