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Trade Lifting Developing Asia's Growth as ADB Upgrades GDP Forecast

Trade Lifting Developing Asia's Growth as ADB Upgrades GDP Forecast

The first three quarters of 2017 saw GDP grow by 6.4 percent, up from 5.9 percent in the same period of a year ago, the bank said in a supplement to its Asian Development Outlook Update 2017 report released on December 13.

ADB likewise hiked its growth projections for developing asia this year to six percent from 5.9 percent in September but retained its growth forecast of 5.9 percent for 2018.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) raised its growth projection for developing Asia citing stronger than expected exports and domestic consumption fuel growth.

India, the largest economy South Asia, rebounded to 6.3 per cent growth in the second quarter of this fiscal from 5.7 per cent in the first quarter, reversing five consecutive quarters of deceleration.

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Meanwhile, projection for South Asia was lowered to 6.5 percent for 2017.

"Developing Asia's growth momentum, supported by recovering exports, demonstrates that openness to trade remains an essential component of inclusive economic development", Yasuyuki Sawada, ADB's chief economist said in a statement.

Government investment slowed in 2017, it said, but is likely to recover in 2018 as construction starts on several infrastructure projects for which bidding is complete.

The ADB also revised forecasts for combined growth for the major industrial economies upward to 2.2 per cent for 2017 and two per cent for 2018, owing to strong domestic demand in the euro area, and private investment in Japan. "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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ADB said the subregion is benefitting from stronger investments and exports with growth emanating from Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Manila-based lender, in its ADO update in September, said the acceleration in GDP stemmed from growth in services and industry driven by infrastructure investment and development expenditure. Growth is expected to reach 3.6% in 2017 compared to the 3.3% originally projected.

The inflation forecast for 2017 is revised up to 4.0 per cent from 3.7 per cent earlier in September. Growth projections for the United States remained unchanged at 2.2 percent in 2017 and 2.4 percent in 2018, the report showed.

He said the 6.7 percent is just "the minimum" growth expected by the government this year. Post-disaster reconstruction and tourism are expected to drive growth further in the subregion, particularly in Fiji and Vanuatu.

"Food price inflation in the first 10 months of 2017 was also notable at 4%", it added.

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Inflation is expected to rise on higher prices for oil and rice and increasing consumer demand, Ms Kirida said.