April 6, 2017 / 1:34 AM / 4 months ago

Developing Asia's 2017 growth seen as weakest in 16 years - ADB

    MANILA, April 6 (Reuters) - Developing Asia is on track to
post its slowest annual growth in 16 years this year as it
adjusts to China's rebalancing and possible spillovers from
global policy uncertainty, the Asian Development Bank said.
    The Manila-based lender kept at 5.7 percent this year's
growth forecast for developing Asia, which groups 45 countries
in the Asia-Pacific region. That would be the region's weakest
expansion since it grew 5.0 percent in 2001.
    Next year, developing Asia should again grow by 5.7 percent,
the ADB said in its 2017 Asia Development Outlook report.
    "Developing Asia continues to drive the global economy even
as the region adjusts to a more consumption-driven economy in
China and looming global risks," said Yasuyuki Sawada, the ADB's
chief economist.
    Sawada said the region faces "risks from uncertain policy
direction in the advanced economies, including the pace of
interest rate normalisation in the United States".
    "While short-term risks seem manageable, regional
policymakers should remain vigilant to respond to possible
spillover through capital outflows and exchange rate movements,"
Sawada said.
    The Federal Reserve hiked U.S. rates a notch in mid-March,
its second tightening in three months. Forecasts from Fed
officials suggest a median of two more increases before
year-end.
    China, which is rebalancing its economy to growth led by
consumption rather than exports, is expected to grow 6.5 percent
this year, the ADB said. That is better than its December
forecast of 6.4 percent, but weaker than the 6.7 percent
expansion in 2016.
    Growth in China is seen slowing further to 6.2 percent in
2018.
    The ADB reduced its 2017 growth forecast for India to 7.4
percent from 7.8 percent and it expects growth there to pick up
to 7.6 percent in 2018.
    With nearly all economies in Southeast Asia showing an
upward trend, the region should expand by a faster 4.8 percent
this year and pick up to 5.0 percent next year, the ADB said.
    Economies in South Asia are projected to expand by 7.0
percent in 2017 and 7.2 percent in 2018. 
    Strong consumer demand and rising global commodity prices
could cause the inflation pace in developing Asia to quicken to
3.0 percent this year and to 3.2 percent in 2018, the ADB said. 
    The report is available on ADB's website: www.adb.org
    
   GDP GROWTH, pct   Actual               ---Forecast---
   Subregion/
   Economy           2016            2017               2018
                    ------    --------------------     -------
   Date of Forecast            April     Dec/2016       April     
   CENTRAL ASIA       2.1       3.1         2.6          3.5      
   EAST ASIA          6.0       5.8         5.6          5.6      
     China            6.7       6.5         6.4          6.2      
   SOUTH ASIA         6.7       7.0         7.3          7.2      
     India            7.1       7.4         7.8          7.6      
   SOUTHEAST ASIA     4.7       4.8         4.6          5.0      
     Indonesia        5.0       5.1         5.1          5.3      
     Malaysia         4.2       4.4         4.4          4.6      
     Philippines      6.8       6.4         6.4          6.6      
     Singapore        2.0       2.2         2.0          2.3      
     Thailand         3.2       3.5         3.5          3.6      
     Vietnam          6.2       6.5         6.3          6.7      
     Myanmar          6.4       7.7          na          8.0      
   THE PACIFIC        2.6       2.9         3.3          3.3      
 
   DEVELOPING ASIA    5.8       5.7         5.7          5.7     
 
 
  INFLATION, pct     Actual               ---Forecast---
  Subregion/
  Economy            2016             2017               2018
                    ------    ---------------------    -------
   Date of forecast            April      Dec/2016      April     
   CENTRAL ASIA      11.1       7.8         6.3          7.3    
   EAST ASIA          1.9       2.3         2.1          2.6    
     China            2.0       2.4         2.2          2.8    
   SOUTH ASIA         4.6       5.2         5.7          5.4    
     India            4.7       5.2         5.8          5.4    
   SOUTHEAST ASIA     2.1       3.3         3.0          3.5    
     Indonesia        3.5       4.3         4.0          4.5     
     Malaysia         2.1       3.3         2.5          2.7     
     Philippines      1.8       3.5         2.8          3.7     
     Singapore       -0.5       1.0         0.8          1.5     
     Thailand         0.2       1.8         2.0          2.0     
     Vietnam          2.7       4.0         5.0          5.0    
     Myanmar          6.5       7.0          na          7.5    
   THE PACIFIC        4.6       5.2         5.4          5.4    
 
   DEVELOPING ASIA    2.5       3.0         2.9          3.2    
 
 

    

 (Reporting by Karen Lema; Additional reporting by Enrico dela
Cruz; Editing by Richard Borsuk)
  

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