ADB: S. Korean Economy to Grow 3% in 2018

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Workers lay out steel bars in constructing the 8-kilometre 4-lane elevated highway along Buendia Avenue in Makati City, Manila, on Aug 3, 2017.

Hong Kong: The Asian Development Bank lifted its outlook for growth in developing Asia this year thanks to a pick-up in the global export demand but it warned of risks from a potential China-US trade war.

The economy expanded by 6.8% past year and 7.38% in the first three months of 2018, its best first-quarter performance in a decade, according to official data.

The report also noted there are external risks to the Philippines' growth outlook from heightened volatility in worldwide Financial markets and uncertainty about global trade openness, although the country's strong external payments position would cushion these effects.

"Further actions and retaliation against them could undermine the business and consumer optimism that underlies the regional outlook", the ADB said.

"Private consumption is expected to rise as the exchange rate stabilizes and economic activity improves, with higher public investment boosting the non-oil economy".

The Fed last raised rates in March and policymakers signalled two or three more hikes this year.

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China has set a growth target of around 6.5% this year, the same as last year, which it handily beat with an expansion of 6.9%.

On the same occasion, ADB's senior economist Priasto Aji expressed hope that investment climate reforms undertaken by the government would boost economic growth. Consequently, Indonesia's economy is projected to grow in the 5.1-5.5 percent yoy range in 2018.

According to the preliminary data of the Ministry of Agricultural, Land Management and Cooperatives, paddy production will fall to 5.1 million tonnes, a decrease of 1.5 per cent from a year earlier this fiscal year.

Ranked in the middle are Indonesia (5.3% and 5.3%) and Malaysia (5.3% and 5%).

With China's growth projected to slow down to 6.6% and 6.4% in 2018 and 2019 respectively as domestic economic policy leans further toward financial stability and a more sustainable growth trajectory, ADB said India will remain the world's fastest growing major economy.

The ADB report also sees India reversing two years of declining growth trend and the economy recovering to grow at 7.3 per cent in this fiscal (2018) and 7.6 per cent in the next fiscal (2019) aided by growth-oriented policy measures.

"Encouragingly, progress in December 2017 toward enacting a new company law can assure foreign investors that corporate reform will continue", the bank said.

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