ADB forecasts China, India to power strong growth in 2023

ADB forecasts China, India to power strong growth in 2023

China’s recovery from the pandemic and strong demand in India will drive strong economic growth in Asia this year, the Asian Development Bank said in a report issued Tuesday.

The Manila, Philippines-based ADBs latest update forecasts an expansion of 4.8% in this year and the next, up from 4.2% in 2022. It said inflation would likely cool slightly this year and fall further in 2024. ADB economists said a weekend decision by oil producing nations to cut output, pushing oil prices sharply higher, might reignite inflationary pressures and add to challenges for the region.

The reports analysis was based on the assumption that Brent crude oil, the pricing basis for international trading, would average USD 88 a barrel this year and USD 90 a barrel next year. Oil prices remain below that level, with Brent at USD 83 on Monday. But they soared about 5% after Saudi Arabia and other major oil producers said they will cut production by 1.15 million barrels per day from May until the end of the year, on top of a reduction announced last October that infuriated the Biden administration. Its certainly plausible that oil prices could go even higher and introduce another challenge for the region, ADB Chief Economist Albert Park said in a conference call.

However, growing imports of Russian crude oil, especially by China and India, will likely cushion the impact of rising prices – such exports to China, India and Turkey more than doubled last year. As of February, a third of Russias crude exports were going to India and more than a fifth to China. Park noted that inflation in Asia seems to be driven more by surging demand for services, such as tourism, than for goods.

Another factor that could push prices higher is Chinas rebound from slow growth after its leaders lifted COVID-19 restrictions that disrupted travel, manufacturing and other business activities. The ADB forecasts that Chinas economy will grow 5% this year and 4.5% next year, an improvement over last years 3% growth but slower than its long-term average. Indias economy, meanwhile, is expected to grow at a slower pace of 6.4% this year.

That follows a 9.1% annual pace of expansion in 2021 as it rebounded from the worst of the pandemic, and 6.8% last year. But its one of the fastest expansions for a major regional economy. Vietnam, meanwhile, is expected to see 6.5% growth this year, down from 8% last year. Thats above the average forecast for Southeast Asia, at 4.7% in 2023 and 5% next year. Its central bank has begun cutting interest rates to counter a slowdown in its property sector and weakening exports. A downturn in demand for computer chips has hurt the outlook for major exporters like Taiwan, Singapore and South Korea, said the report by the regional development lender.

It cited a forecast by World Semiconductor Trade Statistics that sales in semiconductors will fall 4.1% this year from last year but said demand is likely to recover later this year, as is typical in the highly cyclical industry. Recent worries over the stability of the banking industry after bank failures in the U.S. and Switzerlands rescue of Credit Suisse with a partial takeover by its rival UBS are among other uncertainties facing the global and regional economy, the report noted. The war in Ukraine also might push prices for commodities such as oil, gas and wheat higher, further bedeviling central bank efforts to curb inflation.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)

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