ADB Retains Cambodia's Growth Outlook for 2013 and 2014

PHNOM PEHN, CAMBODIA – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) maintained its forecast for Cambodia’s economic growth at 7.2% in 2013,  supported by buoyant exports and robust construction and service sectors, says a new ADB report released today. In 2014, the pace is expected to pick up to 7.5% as recovery gains traction in Europe and the United States.

“Cambodia’s economy is expected to remain buoyant over the next two years, reflecting steady reforms and recovery in the traditional global markets,” said ADB Country Director for Cambodia Eric Sidgwick.

Asian Development Outlook Update 2013 (ADOU 2013) shows exports of garments and footwear to the US and the European Union expanded by 11.3% year-on-year to $2.3 billion, and exports of milled rice doubled to $122 million in the first half of 2013.

Approvals for construction projects went up sharply to $1.9 billion during the same period, whereas credit for the construction sector grew by 46% in June from a year earlier. Tourist arrivals reached 2.1 million in the first six months, up by 19.1% from the previous year. In 2013, the service sector as a whole is projected to grow by 7% and agricultural output by about 4%.

The report notes that growth in credit to the private sector eased to 29% in June, down from 34.1% in 2012.

The update retains the April forecast for the current account deficit at 11.1% of gross domestic product (GDP). The year-average inflation forecast for 2013 is trimmed from the 3% projected in April to 2.5%, reflecting an unexpectedly low inflation of 1.8% between January and June.

Gross official reserves rose by 9.9% to $3.6 billion in the first half, covering 4.1 months of imports of goods and services.