The Philippines and Vietnam are expected to show the strongest growth prospects this year among Southeast Asian nations, with anticipated growth of more than 6 per cent, according to World Bank's "East Asia and Pacific Economic Update".
In Indonesia, growth is forecast at 5.1 per cent in 2016 and 5.3 per cent in 2017, contingent on the success of recent reforms and implementation of an ambitious public investment programme.
Thailand's economic growth is expected to moderate to 2.5 per cent in 2016, from 2.8 per cent in 2015.
In the report, several small economies, including Laos, Mongolia, and Papua New Guinea, will continue to be affected by low commodity prices and weaker external demand. Cambodia’s growth will be slightly below 7 per cent during 2016-18, reflecting weaker prices for agricultural commodities, constrained garment exports, and moderating growth in tourism.
The large Southeast Asian economies are expected to drive growth rate in developing countries in East Asia during 2016-2018.
Compared to 4.7 per cent in 2015, the growth rate excluding China is expected to rise to 4.8 per cent in 2016 and 4.9 per cent in 2017-18, according to World Bank's "East Asia and Pacific Economic Update".
Including China, growth in developing East Asia is expected to ease from 6.5 per cent in 2015 to 6.3 per cent in 2016 and 6.2 per cent in 2017-18. The forecast reflects China’s gradual shift to slower, more sustainable growth, expected to be 6.7 per cent in 2016 and 6.5 per cent in 2017, compared with 6.9 per cent in 2015.
However, the outlook for individual countries varies, depending on their trade and financial relationships with high-income economies and China, as well as their dependence on commodity exports.
“Developing East Asia and Pacific continues to contribute strongly to global growth. The region accounted for almost two-fifths of global growth in 2015, more than twice the combined contribution of all other developing regions,” said Victoria Kwakwa, incoming World Bank East Asia and Pacific Regional Vice President. “The region has benefited from careful macroeconomic policies, including efforts to boost domestic revenue in some commodity-exporting countries. But sustaining growth amid challenging global conditions will require continued progress on structural reforms.”