WB Trims Growth Forecasts for China, East Asia

Manila Bulletin, October 6, 2014 | Go to article overview

WB Trims Growth Forecasts for China, East Asia


Singapore The World Bank cut its 2014-2016 growth forecasts for developing East Asia, noting that China was likely to slow due to policies aimed at putting the economy on a more sustainable footing, and it also cautioned of capital-flight risks to Indonesia. The Washington-based lender expects the developing East Asia and Pacific (EAP) region to grow 6.9 percent in 2014 and 2015, down from the 7.1 percent rate it had previously forecast for both years. Growth in 2013 had been at 7.2 percent. The bank also trimmed its 2016 growth forecast for the region to 6.8 percent from 7.1 percent. "The main message of this report is one that I would categorize as cautious optimism," World Bank East Asia and Pacific Chief Economist Sudhir Shetty said at a media briefing on Monday on the latest East Asia Pacific Economic Update. Possible risks to the outlook include a weaker-than-expected recovery in global trade and any abrupt rise in global interest rates, the report said, adding that its baseline scenario was based on an orderly normalization of monetary policy in the United States. The World Bank said growth in China was likely to slow to 7.4 percent in 2014 and 7.2 percent in 2015, down from 7.7 percent in 2013. Growth in 2016 was seen at 7.1 percent. The World Bank had previously seen China's growth coming in at 7.6 percent in 2014 and 7.5 percent in 2015 and 2016. "Measures to contain local government debt, curb shadow banking, and tackle excess capacity, high energy demand, and high pollution will reduce investment and manufacturing output," it said regarding China's outlook. China's economy has struggled to recover from a soft start to the year when growth slowed to its weakest in 18 months in the first quarter. Beijing has indicated it is prepared to accept slower growth as it tries to wean the world's second-biggest economy away from dependence on investment and exports in favor of consumption. But a slowdown in the housing market has become an increasing drag on the broader economy, prompting Beijing and local governments to step up efforts to restore momentum. When asked about the economic implications of the political unrest in Hong Kong, the World Bank's Shetty said the impact on China's economy seemed limited at this point. …

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