ADB raises Asia growth outlook, warns of trade tension risks - InfoNews

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ADB raises Asia growth outlook, warns of trade tension risks

FILE - In this Jan. 26, 2017, file photo, construction workers stand on the scaffolding around metal rods of a new pillar as they build more floors at a reclamation site in suburban Paranaque city, south of Manila, Philippines. The Asian Development Bank said in a report Wednesday, April 11, 2018, the bank is forecasting that developing Asian economies will expand slightly faster than expected this year but warns U.S. trade tensions are a major risk to its forecast. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, File)
April 10, 2018 - 6:56 PM

HONG KONG - Developing Asian economies will expand at a slightly faster pace this year than earlier forecast, but trade tensions with the U.S. pose a major risk, the Asian Development Bank said Wednesday in its latest regional update.

The Manila, Philippines-based lender said it expects the region to expand at a 6 per cent clip in 2018, slightly above its previous forecast, after recording 6.1 per cent growth last year.

For 2019, it predicts growth will ease to 5.9 per cent.

The bank said robust exports and strong domestic consumer demand are supporting activity across the 45 economies it covers in its annual report.

Risks to the growth outlook are driven mainly by "fears of escalating trade tensions," it said, referring to China-U.S. trade tensions that have threatened to escalate into an all-out trade war.

The report did not mention President Donald Trump but it was clearly referring to his trade policies, which have involved threatening China with higher tariffs on tens of billions of dollars of exports in a dispute that centres on complaints from foreign companies that say they're forced to hand over their technology. Beijing has responded with its own proposed list of tariffs of a similar amount.

"Recent U.S. tariffs on select products have not yet dented trade, but further actions by the U.S. and counteractions against them could undermine business and consumer confidence in Asia and the Pacific," the report said.

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

News from © The Associated Press, 2018
The Associated Press

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