WB cuts growth forecast for China, East Asia

Updated: 2013-10-08 09:14


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SINGAPORE -- The World Bank cut its growth forecast for developing economies in East Asia and the Pacific region as a whole in 2013 to 7.1 percent from the previous forecast of 7.8 percent, according to a report it released on Monday.

The East Asia and Pacific Economic Update, released every six months, also cut its forecast for China from 8.3 percent to 7.5 percent.

"Growth in China is expected to meet the official indicative target of 7.5 percent this year. The short-term outlook is improving as industrial production data suggests further strengthening of output in the third quarter," it said.

"China is likely to see further rebalancing of its economy by slowing credit growth and investment, although the pacing is likely to depend on overall growth," said the report.

Bert Hofman, World Bank East Asia and Pacific chief economist, said the slower growth will in a way help China in the medium term as it goes through reforms to restructure the economy.

The report said the developing economies in East Asia is experiencing a slowdown in their domestic demand, as stimulus programs are being phased out. Domestic demand has been the main driver of growth in the region in the post-global financial crisis period.

Nevertheless, the World Bank said that the East Asia and Pacific region continued to be the engine driving the global economy, contributing 40 percent of the world's gross domestic product growth.

The slowdown in investment in China could have an impact on the region, especially on suppliers of capital goods and industrial raw materials to China, the report said.

"With overall global growth accelerating, now is the time for developing economies to make structural and policy reforms to sustain growth, reduce poverty and improve the lives of the poor and vulnerable," said Alex van Trotsenburg, World Bank East Asia and Pacific Regional Vice President.

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