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World Bank Downgrades Asian Growth Outlook
Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-10-08/world-bank-downgrades-asian-growth-outlook/4301544?section=australianetworknews
Source Date: Monday, October 08, 2012
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government
Created: Oct 08, 2012

The World Bank is expecting economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region to slow a full percentage point compared to last year.

However, the global development bank still expects the region's economy to grow 7.2 per cent this year, before accelerating to 7.6 per cent growth next year.

The fall in growth is being led by China, which is slowing from last year's 9.3 per cent growth to a predicted 7.7 per cent expansion this year.

However, the World Bank is again optimistic that China's economy will rebound to 8.1 per cent next year as the impact of stimulus measures kicks in, and on a forecast modest recovery in global trade.

The bank's chief economist for East Asia and the Pacific, Bert Hofman, says the region's medium-term outlook remains bright.

"Over the medium-term, increases in productivity in the East Asia and the Pacific, which is increasingly becoming a middle-income region, will drive growth," he said.

"Continued structural reforms, improvements in the business climate and investments in infrastructure and education systems will become more important."

In the short-term, the World Bank says strong growth in domestic demand in key countries, such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, is helping to lift the regional economy.

The report also notes that the actions of the European Central Bank and US Federal Reserve have calmed global markets and eased fears of an imminent financial crisis.

However, it also says considerable downside risks remain, and that a sharp deterioration in European financial and economic conditions would have a direct flow on effect on Asia-Pacific economies.
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