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ADB projects 7.4pc growth for India in 2017

IANS | Manila |

The Asian Development Bank on Thursday predicted Asia's economy to expand faster in 2017; South Asia to remain the fastest growing of all sub-regions and India to achieve a 7.4 per cent growth due to strong consumption.

In its latest report, the ADB projected a 5.9 per cent growth for the developing Asian economy riding on the back of a strong export demand in the first quarter (Q1), reports Xinhua news agency.

The ADB report said South Asia will remain the fastest growing of all sub-regions in Asia and the Pacific, with growth on track to meet original projections of seven per cent in 2017 and 7.2 percent in 2018.

India, the sub-region's largest economy, was expected to achieve previous growth projections 7.4 per cent in 2017 and 7.6 per cent in 2018, primarily from strong consumption, the report added.

After recent growth moderation, it said an increase in net exports and domestic consumption has improved growth prospects in China, the world's second largest economy, which is now expected to expand by 6.7 per cent in 2017 and 6.4 per cent in 2018.

Growth projections for Southeast Asia were expected to remain at 4.8 per cent in 2017 and five per cent in 2018, with accelerating growth for Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore.

Yasuyuki Sawada, ADB's chief economist, said: "Developing Asia is off to a good start this year with improved exports pushing growth prospects for the rest of 2017." 

Despite lingering uncertainties surrounding the strength of the global recovery, he said: "We feel that the region's economies are well-placed to face potential shocks to the outlook."

Meanwhile, combined growth for the major industrial economies was forecast to remain at 1.9 per cent in 2017 and 2018, the report added.

It said that improved forecasts for the euro area and Japan due to robust domestic demand have offset the slight growth downturn in the US to 2.2 per cent from the previously projected 2.4 due to disappointing first quarter results in 2017.

The outlook for Central Asia has also improved as stronger domestic demand and exports in some countries have fuelled an unexpected recovery in the sub-region. 

It said the consumer price inflation in the region was projected to be lower from the previous estimate on the back of steady international oil and food prices despite increasing demand due to enough supplies and favourable weather conditions.

"Price inflation is now expected to drop to 2.6 per cent in 2017, revised down by 0.4 percentage points, and three per cent in 2018 compared to the original projections of three and 3.2 per cent, respectively," the report added. 

In a supplement to its Asian Development Outlook 2017 report released in April, the ADB upgraded its growth outlook in the region.