ADB upgrades forecast for Asia, predicts India growth at 7 percent

December 15th, 2009 - 1:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Manila, Dec 15 (DPA) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said Tuesday it has upgraded its economic growth forecast for developing countries in Asia due to the better-than-expected performance of many economies in the region, with India projected to grow seven percent this year and next year.
The bank also increased its economic growth forecast for South Asia to 6.4 percent in 2009 and 2010.

“India faces some challenges - particularly from rising prices that the government and the central bank will have to consider carefully as they assess the policy,” Lee said.

The Manila-based ADB said it now expects developing Asia, which covers 45 countries in Central Asia, East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific, to grow by 4.5 percent in 2009 and 6.6 percent in 2010.

In September, the ADB predicted the region’s economy would grow 3.9 percent in 2009 and 6.4 percent in 2010.

“The prospects for much of the region look rosier than they did in September when we last did a full study of the region,” ADB chief economist Jong-Wha Lee said.

“Fiscal and monetary stimulus policies and a moderate improvement in the G3 economies of Europe, Japan and the United States helped East Asia and South-East Asia in particular,” he added.

ADB said East Asia - comprised of China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Mongolia and Taiwan - was expected to expand by 5.1 percent this year and 7.3 percent in 2010.

Southeast Asia - Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam - was predicted to grow 0.6 percent in 2009 and 4.5 percent in 2010, the bank said.

ADB said Central Asia was projected to grow more slowly in 2009 than previously expected largely due to persistent economic weakness in Armenia, but the region should still expand by 3.6 percent in 2010.

The ADB said its growth forecast for the Pacific was unchanged at 2.8 percent in 2009 and 3.1 percent in 2010.

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