Cambodia to see strong growth despite political uncertainties, says ADB

ADB projects 5.5 % GDP in Nepal for coming fiscal year

ADB sees Asia's 2018 growth at 6%, but warns of trade risks

Growth in China's economy, the world's second biggest, is set to cool to 6.6 percent in 2018 and 6.4 percent in 2019 after logging 6.9 percent growth past year, it said.

India's economic growth will pick up in 2018-19 to 7.3% on the back of improved rural consumption and a modest rise in private investment while the debilitating effects of demonetisation and goods and services tax (GST) implementation dissipate, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said on Wednesday.

The World Bank on Sunday forecast the expected GDP growth 6.5 percent while ADB forecast seven percent. "Imports are forecast to decline by 6.0% in 2018, exports are projected to grow by 13.0% in 2018", the bank said.

The deferment of fiscal consolidation, upside risks to inflation, and expected hikes in U.S. interest rates in 2018 squeeze maneuvering room for policy rate cuts to stimulate growth.

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For 2019, it predicts growth will ease to 5.9 percent.

He said, "Substantive growth in government expenditures and moderate upticks in investment would drive growth in current fiscal year and government expenditures have increased significantly this fiscal year partly for local, provincial and parliamentary elections".

"We expect this growth to further lift wage employment numbers, add to household incomes, and benefit more poor families across the archipelago", Bird said.

Cambodia's economy is estimated to expand 7 per cent in 2017.

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The economy expanded by 6.8% past year and 7.38% in the first three months of 2018, its best first-quarter performance in a decade, according to official data.

Elsewhere in Southeast Asia, Vietnam led with growth projections of 7.1% and 6.8% this year and next, followed by Cambodia (7% and 7%), Myanmar (6.8% and 7.2%), Laos (6.8% and 7%) and the Philippines (6.8% and 6.9%).

He, however, said for maintaining the sustainable high growth Bangladesh needs to expand its industrial base and diversify export basket.

In 2019, meanwhile, inflation is expected to marginally decline to 3.9 percent.

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A major policy challenge to the country's growth outlook, according to the report, is managing the rollout of the government's "Build, Build, Build" infrastructure program, which is expected to raise public infrastructure spending to 7.3 percent of GDP by 2022 from 4.5 percent in 2016. "However, further action and retaliation against it (US trade tariffs) could undermine the business and consumer optimism that underlies the regional outlook (for Asia)", it said. "Some of the concerns expressed by SMEs and exporters have been addressed by the Government".

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