April 13, 2017 11:44 am JST

World Bank boosts 2018 growth outlook for emerging East Asia

Report cites rebounding demand in developed world and infrastructure investment

MAYUKO TANI, Nikkei staff writer

SINGAPORE -- The World Bank on Thursday upgraded its economic growth forecast for 2018 for emerging countries in East Asia to 6.1%, up from the 6.0% it projected six months earlier.

The bank said expanding infrastructure investment, rebounding demand in developed countries and recovering commodity prices would drive the uptick.

The bank expects overall growth for the 14 economies it covered in the forecast, which includes Southeast Asian economies.

It kept unchanged its estimate of a 6.2% expansion for 2017, and predicted growth would hold flat at 6.1% for 2019.

The Philippines received upgrades for 2017 and 2018, thanks to increasing investment by the public and private sectors.

For China, the bank stuck with its previous forecasts of 6.5% growth for 2017 and a 6.3% expansion for 2018. However, it said growth would tread water in 2019, citing concern that tighter restrictions would cool the country's property market.

As for risk factors facing the Asia-Pacific region as a whole, the bank cited a possible decline in global trade due to protectionist policies in the U.S. and elsewhere, as well as an acceleration in the pace of U.S. interest rate hikes.

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