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ADB trims growth forecasts for developing Asia, says cheaper oil good for most
December 17, 2014 / 4:11 AM / 3 years ago

ADB trims growth forecasts for developing Asia, says cheaper oil good for most

MANILA, Dec 17 (Reuters) - The Asian Development Bank
slightly trimmed its growth forecast for developing Asia for
this year and next, but said sliding prices for oil should help
economies in the region push through with growth reforms. 
    In its update to the 2014 outlook, ADB said on Wednesday
developing Asia was now expected to grow 6.1 percent this year,
a tad below its 6.2 percent forecast in September. Growth in
2015 was seen at 6.2 percent, from 6.4 percent previously.
    "While growth in the first three quarters of this year was
somewhat softer than we had expected, declining oil prices may
mean an upside surprise in 2015 as most economies are oil
importers," said ADB Chief Economist Shang-Jin Wei.
    The ADB cut its 2014 and 2015 growth forecasts for China to
7.4 percent and 7.2 percent, respectively, from the 7.5 percent
and 7.4 percent estimates made in September, due to falling
property prices and the spillover effects on the construction
sector.
    Reforms brought by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will
help his country grow 5.5 percent this year and, if they are
extended, should lift growth to 6.3 percent next year, the ADB
said. 
    Southeast Asia is expected to grow slower than previously
thought in 2014 and 2015 due to a slackening in economies in the
region. The region is seen growing at 4.4 percent in 2014, down
from a previous estimate of 4.6 percent, and 5.1 percent in 2015
instead of 5.3 percent.
    "Falling global oil prices present a golden opportunity for
importers like Indonesia and India to reform their costly fuel
subsidy programs," Wei said. "On the other hand, oil exporters
can seize the opportunity to develop their manufacturing sectors
as low commodity prices tend to make their real exchange rates
more competitive."   
    Since June, Brent crude has fallen 49 percent to
below $60 a barrel, which means big savings for Southeast Asia's
large oil-importing economies - Thailand, Philippines and
Indonesia.
    Inflation in the region in 2014 is now forecast to be lower
at 3.2 percent in 2014 and 3.5 percent in 2015, compared to the
3.4 percent and 3.7 percent seen in September.
    The report is available on the ADB's website, www.adb.org
    
GDP GROWTH, pct  Actual             --Forecast--
Subregion/
Economy         2013*          2014                 2015
                        --------------          --------
                       Dec   Sept   July    Dec  Sept   July
CENTRAL ASIA    6.5    5.1    5.6    6.3    5.4   5.9    6.1
EAST ASIA       6.7    6.6    6.7    6.7    6.5   6.7    6.7
  China         7.7    7.4    7.5    7.5    7.2   7.4    7.4
SOUTH ASIA      4.7    5.4    5.4    5.4    6.1   6.1    6.1
  India         4.7    5.5    5.5    5.5    6.3   6.3    6.3
SOUTHEAST ASIA  5.0    4.4    4.6    4.7    5.1   5.3    5.4
  Indonesia     5.8    5.1    5.3     --    5.6   5.8     --
  Malaysia      4.7    5.7    5.7     --    5.3   5.3     --
  Philippines   7.2    6.0    6.2     --    6.4   6.4     --
  Singapore     3.9    3.2    3.5     --    3.5   3.9     --
  Thailand      2.9    1.0    1.6     --    4.0   4.5     --
  Vietnam       5.4    5.6    5.5     --    5.8   5.7     --
THE PACIFIC     4.5    5.4    5.3    5.2   13.4  13.2   13.2
________________________________________________________________
DEVELOPING ASIA 6.1    6.1    6.2    6.2    6.2   6.4    6.4
    
*SOME 2013 figures have been revised

INFLATION, pct   Actual             --Forecast--
Subregion/
Economy         2013*         2014               2015
                        ---------------       --------
                       Dec   Sept   July   Dec   Sept  July
CENTRAL ASIA    6.0    6.8    7.6    7.6    6.8   7.0   7.0
EAST ASIA       2.4    2.2    2.4    2.5    2.6   2.9   2.9
China           2.6    2.2    2.4    2.6    2.6   3.0   3.0
SOUTH ASIA      6.2    5.5    6.1    6.3    5.6   5.9   6.1
India           6.0    5.0    5.7    6.0    5.3   5.5   5.8
SOUTHEAST ASIA  4.2    4.3    4.1    4.3    4.5   4.7   4.0
  Indonesia     6.4    6.4    5.8     --    6.7   6.9    --
  Malaysia      2.1    3.3    3.3     --    3.6   3.6    --
  Philippines   3.0    4.4    4.4     --    4.1   4.1    --
  Singapore     2.4    1.4    2.0     --    1.7   2.3    --
  Thailand      2.2    2.1    2.2     --    2.3   2.6    --
  Vietnam       6.6    4.2    4.5     --    5.5   5.5    --
THE PACIFIC     4.5    4.2    4.5    4.5    4.5   4.5   4.5
________________________________________________________________
DEVELOPING ASIA 3.4    3.2    3.4    3.5    3.5   3.7   3.7


Source: ADB's Asian Development Outlook Supplement 2014 Central
Asia: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic,
Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan East Asia: China, Hong
Kong, South Korea, Mongolia, Taiwan South Asia: Afghanistan,
Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka 
Southeast Asia: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia,
Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam Pacific:
Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste, Cook Islands, Kiribati,
Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau,
Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu
    

 (Reporting by Karen Lema; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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