Kolkata, 16 July
Slow progress in pushing through reforms in India may lead to lower economic growth, according to the Asian Development Bank (ADB). An ADB report released today said that growth in the country is likely to be 5.8 per cent this year, slower than the previously forecast six per cent.
However, ADB has maintained its 6.5 per cent growth forecast for 2014. Elsewhere in South Asia, Sri Lanka continues to grow strongly while other parts of the region will see softer than anticipated growth.
Continued tepid demand from the major industrial economies coupled with slower growth in the People&’s Republic of China are weighing on the outlook for developing Asia, says the ADB report.
The latest Asian Development Outlook Supplement released today trimmed the 2013 growth forecast for the 45 developing member countries of ADB to 6.3 per cent and cut its 2014 forecast to 6.4 per cent. In April, ADB had predicted the region to grow 6.6 per cent this year and 6.7 per cent next year.
“The drop in trade and scaling back of investment are part of a more balanced growth path for China, and the knock-on effect of its slower pace is definitely a concern for the region. But we are also seeing more subdued activity across much of developing Asia,” said ADB chief economist Changyong Rhee.
The People’s Republic of China ~ home to developing Asia&’s largest economy ~ is likely to see its economy expand 7.7 per cent this year and 7.5 per cent in 2014 after a growth of 7.8 per cent in 2012. The report notes that import and export growth has slowed given weak external demand, but notes continuing robust consumer confidence. Slower growth in China has subdued the outlook for the entire East Asia region, as well as, to a lesser extent, for Southeast Asia, where the Philippines and other large Asean countries are otherwise seeing solid growth.
The report has also trimmed forecasts for Central Asia, reflecting the sluggish economic performance of Kazakhstan and Georgia, and for the Pacific where Timor-Leste is seeing a slowdown in government spending.
Inflation pressures, meanwhile, are waning on the back of declining energy and food prices, given slower global demand for fuels and bumper grain harvests.