Southeast Asia: Economy

Southeast Asian prospects brighten with buoyant growth across the subregion. Economic expansion accelerated by 4.7% in 2016, up by 0.1 percentage points from the previous year, as growth edged higher in several larger economies: Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. With normal weather supporting agriculture and steady recovery in the major industrial economies boosting exports, growth will pick up in nearly all of the economies in the subregion, nudging average growth to 4.8% in 2017 and 5.0% in 2018. The only exception is the Philippines, where growth will moderate from its record 6.8% in 2016 to a pace approximating 6.5% this year and next. While higher infrastructure investment will provide an additional impetus to growth in Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, the Philippines, and Thailand, record foreign direct investment will be a key factor supporting growth in Viet Nam. Strengthening growth and rising international oil prices will mean higher inflation and a narrower current account surplus for the subregion. Average inflation is forecast to rise from 2.1% in 2016 to 3.3% this year, edging up further to 3.5% next year. Read more from Asian Development Outlook 2017.


Economic forecasts for Southeast Asian countries

Country 2017f 2018f
Brunei Darussalam 1.0 2.5
Cambodia 7.1 7.1
Indonesia 5.1 5.3
Lao People’s Democratic Republic 6.9 7.0
Malaysia 4.4 4.6
Myanmar 7.7 8.0
Philippines 6.4 6.6
Singapore 2.2 2.3
Thailand 3.5 3.6
Viet Nam 6.5 6.7
Average 4.8 5.0
Country 2017f 2018f
Brunei Darussalam 0.1 0.1
Cambodia 3.4 3.5
Indonesia 4.3 4.5
Lao People’s Democratic Republic 2.5 3.0
Malaysia 3.3 2.7
Myanmar 7.0 7.5
Philippines 3.5 3.7
Singapore 1.0 1.5
Thailand 1.8 2.0
Viet Nam 4.0 5.0
Average 3.3 3.5
Country 2017f 2018f
Brunei Darussalam 5.3 5.5
Cambodia –9.4 –9.0
Indonesia –1.7 –1.6
Lao People’s Democratic Republic –19.0 –20.0
Malaysia 1.8 2.0
Myanmar –8.0 –8.0
Philippines 0.2 0.5
Singapore 19.5 19.8
Thailand 9.0 7.0
Viet Nam 2.0 2.5
Average 3.1 3.0

f = forecast number.

Source: Asian Development Outlook 2017