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World Bank Growth Forecast for 2015

As many of you will be preparing budgets for 2015 and wanting to know where you will find growth take a look at the excellent World Bank Growth Forecast for 2015 which was published in October.

http://www.worldbank.org/content/dam/Worldbank/document/EAP/region/eap-economic-update-october-2014.pdf


Summary

The global economy is showing signs of recovery, but at an uneven pace; global growth is expected to rise modestly to 2.6 percent in 2014, and an average 3.3 percent in 201517. Activity in high-income economies as a group expanded in the second quarter, but performance varied sharply across countries. In the United States, output rebounded strongly, supported by still accommodative monetary policy, easing fiscal consolidation, and rising employment, investment growth, and confidence. Growth is projected at about 2 percent in 2014, rising to 3 percent in 2015. In the Euro Area, the recovery continues to be impaired by weak domestic demand and credit growth, and subdued investment prospects. In Japan, monetary policy accommodation and reform commitments are providing ongoing support, but fiscal consolidation is expected to keep domestic demand subdued throughout 2015, with exports recovering only slowly. In both the Euro Area and Japan, growth is projected at about 1 percent in 2014, rising slowly thereafter.

The gradual strengthening of activity in high-income economies will boost demand for exports from developing East Asia and Pacific (EAP), helping the region sustain its growth performance. Growth in developing EAP will moderate gradually from 7.2 percent in 2013 to 6.9 percent in 201415. In the region excluding China, growth will bottom out at 4.8 percent in 2014, reflecting the slowdown in Indonesia and Thailand, before recovering to 5.3 percent in 201516. Developing EAP will remain the fastest-growing developing region.

In China, growth will gradually moderate to 7.4 percent in 2014 and 7.1 percent in 2016, reflecting intensified policy efforts to address financial vulnerabilities and structural constraints, and place the economy on a more sustainable growth path. Measures to contain local government debt; curb shadow banking; and tackle excess capacity, high energy demand, and high pollution will reduce investment and manufacturing output.

In the rest of the region, growth will gradually pick up, as exports firm and the impact of domestic adjustment in the large ASEAN countries eases. However, the capacity to benefit from the global recovery will vary significantly across countries, reflecting structural constraints to investment and export competitiveness, and weak export prices for commodity producers. Cambodia, Malaysia, Vietnam are well positioned to increase their exports, reflecting their deepening integration into global and regional value chains. But in Indonesia, export performance will remain fragile, as its commodity export prices continue stagnating and infrastructural bottlenecks hamper efforts at diversification.

The report reviews each country, not just looking at the growth in terms of GDP but also highlighting constraints being imposed by infrastructure and skills shortages eg

  • Efficient logistics performance depends critically on infrastructure, whose quality again varies markedly across the region. In particular, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam all suffer from inadequate infrastructure. In Thailand, infrastructure has improved over the years, but efforts to launch and complete new major projects have met a range of hurdles. In contrast, Malaysia and China enjoy strong infrastructure.
  • 34 percent of the firms in the region identified an inadequately educated workforce as a major constraint which increases to 65-70% for professional staff and senior managers

 

(Sources: World Bank)

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