Asian Development Outlook 2015 Supplement: Growth Holds Its Own in Developing Asia

Publication | December 2015

Asia’s developing economies remain on track to post growth of 5.8% in 2015 and 6.0% in 2016, as the region’s economies remain resilient to continued economic weakness in industrialized countries.

The outlook for aggregate gross domestic product is unchanged from the Update at 5.8% expansion in 2015 and 6.0% in 2016, as subregional forecasts are unchanged except for slight downward revisions for Central Asia and the Pacific.

The regional forecast is sustained in the face of a lower combined growth outlook for the major industrial economies of the United States (US), the euro area, and Japan. Sluggish recovery in the US and further contraction of gross domestic product (GDP) in Japan prompt downward revisions in the growth projections for these economies in 2015 and 2016.

Highlights

  • Third quarter data largely met expectations underlying the projections in Asian Development Outlook 2015 Update, despite softer prospects in the major industrial economies. This Supplement forecasts growth in developing Asia at 5.8% in 2015 and 6.0% in 2016.
  • Growth in the People’s Republic of China held up well in the first 9 months of the year, so this Supplement revises the 2015 forecast up by 0.1 percentage points to 6.9%. The forecast for East Asia is nevertheless unchanged at 6.0% for this year and next because of dampened growth expectations elsewhere in the subregion.
  • Growth in India is expected to pick up further in the second half of fiscal 2015 to reach 7.4% and, in the next fiscal year, 7.8%, as envisaged in the Update. Growth forecasts for the whole of South Asia are maintained at 6.9% in 2015 and 7.3% in 2016.
  • Southeast Asia as a whole is maintaining its growth pace despite marginal downward revisions for Indonesia, the Philippines, and Singapore. This Supplement retains forecasts of 4.4% growth in 2015 and 4.9% next year.
  • Soft oil prices and economic malaise in the Russian Federation weigh on Central Asia’s outlook. In the Pacific, low commodity prices are straining public finances in the larger economies, and unfavorable weather is affecting others, pulling down the subregional growth forecast.
  • Continued softness in international commodity prices will keep inflation low. The inflation forecast for 2015 is maintained at 2.3% but trimmed to 2.7% for 2016, or 0.3 percentage points below the Update forecast.

About the Asian Development Outlook

The Asian Development Outlook is ADB’s main economic forecasting product. It is published each March/April with an update published in September and brief supplements published in July and December.