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Shayne Heffernan

China’s economy is bolstering the growth in Asia and the Pacific, with the growth outlook for developing economies in the region maintaining at 4.8 percent, according to the updated outlook report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) released on Wednesday.

The latest Asian Development Outlook (ADO) forecasts China’s economy to expand 5 percent this year, unchanged from the April forecast, amid strong domestic demand in the services sector.

However, the Manila-based bank said the demand for developing Asia’s electronics and other manufactured goods exports is slowing as monetary tightening drags on economic activity in major advanced economies.

Developing Asia groups 46 economies in the Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

“The region’s growth forecast for next year is marginally revised down to 4.7 percent from a 4.8 percent estimate in April,” said the ADB report.

Inflation is expected to continue falling, approaching pre-pandemic levels as fuel and food prices decline, the ADB said.

Inflation in developing Asia is forecast at 3.6 percent this year, compared with an April forecast of 4.2 percent. Meanwhile, the inflation outlook for 2024 is raised to 3.4 percent from an earlier estimate of 3.3 percent.

“Asia and the Pacific continues to recover from the pandemic at a steady pace,” ADB Chief Economist Albert Park said, adding that domestic demand and services activity drive growth, while many economies also benefit from a strong recovery in tourism.

The ADB is maintaining its growth forecasts for most subregions in Asia and the Pacific, but for Southeast Asia, the outlook is lowered to 4.6 percent this year and 4.9 percent next year, compared with April estimates of 4.7 percent and 5 percent, respectively.

The forecast for Caucasus and Central Asia is also revised down marginally to 4.3 percent from 4.4 percent for 2023 and to 4.4 percent from 4.6 percent in 2024.

Shayne Heffernan

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