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Developing Asia to post solid growth in 2008, ADB
02
Apr '08
Developing Asian economies will register solid growth in 2008 despite a coincident slowdown in major industrial economies, surging food and fuel prices and a simmering credit crisis in the United States, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) says in a new major report.

ADB's flagship annual publication, Asian Development Outlook 2008 (ADO) released, forecasts developing Asian economies to expand at 7.6% in 2008 and 7.8% in 2009. The region posted its highest growth in almost two decades in 2007 – averaging 8.7%.

“Asia will not be immune to the global slowdown, neither will it be hostage to it. It remains tied to global activity through traditional trade channels, and increasingly, through its closer integration in international financial markets,” says ADB Chief Economist Ifzal Ali.

Mr. Ali says favorable policy conditions and impressive productivity growth associated with Asia's economic modernization and structural transformation will continue to keep the region on a strong growth path.

ADO warns that the risk of an inflation spiral in Asia is palpable and urges policymakers to keep a close watch on it. Despite a slew of administrative measures and subsidies that are reining in price rises, inflation is expected to spike in 2008 and could hit a decade-long regional high, the report says.

Inflation is expected to rise to 5.1% in 2008 and gradually slide to 4.6% in 2009. Price increases will be highest in Central Asia where it willremain in double digits. Inflation is running at an 11-year high in the People's Republic of China's (PRC), and is a threat to other countries, like Viet Nam.

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