ADB Sees Higher Growth for China in 2017, 2018

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In the report, ADB forecast that economic expansion in developing Asia will accelerate to 6 per cent in 2017 thanks to stronger than expected exports and domestic consumption.

In its Asian Development Outlook Supplement, the ADB maintained its projection for 5.8% growth for developing Asia in 2018, while hiking its estimate for 2017 to 6.0% from 5.9%.

The forecast for 2017 is lower than last year's actual expansion of 6.9 percent but falls within the government's 6.5-7.5 percent target.

He said the 6.7 percent is just "the minimum" growth expected by the government this year.

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It noted that Malaysia hit its fastest pace in more than three years, expanding by 6.2 per cent, bringing the average growth in the first three quarters to 5.9 per cent.

Gross fixed investment more than tripled its growth rate over past year with the implementation of several large projects in the service and manufacturing sectors and higher spending by public corporations, driving double-digit growth in imports. "The government is on track to achieve its target of spending 5.3 percent of GDP on public infrastructure this year", ABD said.

The ADB is the latest to adjust its full-year forecast for the Philippines following the surprisingly strong third quarter result.

The Philippines is also expected to outpace Southeast Asia's projected 5.2% and the 6.0% forecast this year for "developing Asia" that consists of 45 of ADB's 67 members covered by the report. Excluding Asia's newly industrialised economies, growth is now expected at 6.5 per cent this year.

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Meanwhile, the growth outlook for Southeast Asia was raised to 5.2% for both this year and 2018, higher than the September forecasts of 5% and 5.1%, respectively. Price inflation is unchanged from previous projections of 2.4 percent in 2017 and 2.9 percent in 2018.

"However, owing to tepid growth in the first half of 2017-18, the lingering effects of demonetisation in November 2016, transitory challenges of a new tax system, and some risks to agriculture stemming from a spotty monsoon in 2017", the economic growth forecast has been lowered, it said. "However, inflation has picked up since July 2017 on a price uptick for food, especially pulses and vegetables. On the supply side, services generated almost 60 percent of GDP growth, spurred largely by trade, business process outsourcing, finance, and real estate services", the bank said.

He added that countries can further take advantage of the global recovery by investing in human capital and physical infrastructure that will help sustain growth over the long term.

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