WASHINGTON (AFP) - Growth in the developing economies of East Asia and the Pacific will accelerate in 2023 thanks to China’s reopening and economic rebound, but high inflation and household debt will weigh on consumption in some countries, the World Bank said.
The Washington-based lender said in a report that it expected growth in the 23-nation region, which includes China, to pick up to 5.1 percent, up from its 3.5 percent growth last year.
The stronger forecast was due to China’s reopening, which the World Bank expects will help its economy rebound to 5.1 percent from 3 percent last year.
Countries in developing East Asia and the Pacific include Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Mongolia, plus island nations like Fiji, Vanuatu and Palau.
Excluding China, it expects growth in the region to moderate to 4.9 percent from the post-COVID rebound of 5.8 percent in 2022, as inflation and elevated household debt in some countries weigh on consumption.
“Most major economies of East Asia and the Pacific have come through the difficulties of the pandemic but must now navigate a changed global landscape,” said the World Bank’s vice-president for the region, Manuela Ferro.
“To regain momentum, there is work left to do to boost innovation, productivity, and to set the foundations for a greener recovery,” Ferro said.
The report also showed China has become an increasingly important source of knowledge for innovation in other East Asia and Pacific countries.