The Asia Development Bank (ADB) released mid-September its Outlook Report for Asia for 2016 and 2017. Asia is expected to grow at 5.7% in 2016 and 2017, slightly down from the 5.9% recorded in 2015. The institution highlights the resilience of the region despite economic uncertainties and an expected slowdown in the USA, the Euro area, as well as in Japan. Boosting infrastructure and economic stimulus packages in many countries help strengthening performances in the region and cushioning the impact from the international environment. A recovery in China and India, Asia’s two largest economies, will generate positive impulses for the entire region, except in the Pacific.
China growth is forecast to be around 6.5% on average in 2016 and 2017 while strong expansion in India will translate into an average growth of GDP around 7.5% in both 2016 and 2017.
Southeast Asia is due to see its GDP growing by 4.5% in 2016 with a slight accelerating trend in 2016 at 4.6% on average. These results show a return to stronger growth after three years of deceleration. While the strongest GDP growth will be recorded in the countries of the Greater Mekong Sub-region (Thailand excepted), slow growth is expected from ASEAN most mature economies such as Singapore and Brunei.
Malaysia’s GDP growth is gaining strength while Indonesia GDP growth will remain flat. Thailand’s economy still remains relatively weak compared to its neighbours with GDP on average up by 3.2% in 2016 and 3.5% in 2017. The recovery is mild but goes quicker than previously anticipated due to the strong performance of tourism. The Philippines will continue to enjoy strong growth due to a surge of investment and strong expansion in consumption.
Top performer for ASEAN is Myanmar, although the country goes from a very low base and is stimulated by investments in infrastructure and tourism. Slightest growth is expected in Brunei, due to the expected continuous weakness of oil and gas prices. Government infrastructure investment will remain a key contributor to growth in Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.