World Bank cuts China, East Asia growth forecasts

Reuters
A man is silhouetted against the logo of the World Bank at the main venue for the IMF and World Bank annual meeting in Tokyo
.

View photo

A man is silhouetted against the logo of the World Bank at the main venue for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank annual meeting in Tokyo October 10, 2012. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

By Kevin Lim

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The World Bank lowered its 2013 and 2014 economic growth forecasts for China and most of developing East Asia on Monday, citing slower growth in the world's most populous nation as well as weaker commodity prices that have hurt exports and investments in countries such as Indonesia.

"Developing East Asia is expanding at a slower pace as China shifts from an export-oriented economy and focuses on domestic demand," the World Bank said in its latest East Asia Pacific Economic Update report.

"Growth in larger middle-income countries including Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand is also softening in light of lower investment, lower global commodity prices and lower-than-expected growth of exports," it added.

The Washington-based development bank now expects developing East Asia to expand by 7.1 percent this year and by 7.2 percent in 2014, down from its April estimate of 7.8 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively.

CHINA LOCAL GOVERNMENT DEBT A CONCERN

On China, the World Bank said the massive, investment-heavy stimulus program supported by credit expansion had run its course, and policymakers must focus on containing the rapid growth of credit and tighten financial supervision.

It added local government debt was a concern, given the complexity and opacity of municipal finances, and said they should be reformed "with clear rules on borrowing, on allowed sources of borrowing, on debt resolution, and on the disclosure of comprehensive financial accounts by local governments".

"The rapid expansion of shadow banking poses serious challenges, since shadow banking is closely linked to the banking system, is less regulated, and operates with implicit guarantees from banks and local governments," the World Bank said.

But it added local governments in China had significant assets to meet liabilities as they held land reserves worth 10 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) as well as shares in state-owned enterprises worth a similar amount.

China had shown some progress in rebalancing its economy, it added, with consumption contributing more to quarterly growth than investment in the two years up to the first quarter of 2013 and services accounting for a larger share of GDP.

"Still, the economy has yet to make the decisive turn toward consumer-based growth," the World Bank said.

The World Bank now expects the Chinese economy to expand by 7.5 percent this year, down from its April forecast of 8.3 percent and below the International Monetary Fund's most recent forecast of 7.75 percent.

China's 2014 growth is estimated at 7.7 percent, the World Bank said, down 0.3 percentage point from the previous prediction.

The IMF is due to publish its new world economic outlook on Tuesday ahead of the fund's annual meeting.

INDONESIA, PHILIPPINES

Turning to Indonesia, the World Bank said investment growth reached a three-year low in the second quarter and is likely to face headwinds from interest rate hikes in response to rising inflation and capital outflows as well as from a slowdown in foreign direct investment and regulatory uncertainties.

"Lower global commodity prices have dampened export receipts and slowed private investment in the capital-intensive resource sectors of the Indonesian economy, depressing overall growth," the World Bank said.

The World Bank cut its growth forecast for Indonesia to 5.6 percent for 2013 and 5.3 percent next year, down from its previous estimates of 6.2 percent and 6.5 percent, respectively.

As for the Philippines, investments slowed in the second quarter after a strong first three months of the year. But remittances from Filipinos working abroad boosted consumption, which contributed three-fourths to growth in the April-June.

The World Bank expects the Philippines to grow by 7.0 percent this year, much faster than the April forecast of 6.2 percent. For 2014, the economy would probably expand by 6.7 percent, better than the previous estimate of 6.4 percent.

The World Bank said its latest regional forecasts faced greater likelihood of being revised downwards than upwards, citing potential headwinds such as a less orderly tapering of the U.S. Federal Reserve's stimulus program and a prolonged fiscal deadlock in Washington.

World Bank East Asia and Pacific Chief Economist Bert Hofman added, however, that the reversal of capital flows in developing East Asia may be offset by Japan's new strategy to exit deflation and revive growth, commonly referred to as "Abenomics".

Japan's efforts to reflate its economy could spill over to emerging Asian economies through expanded bank lending, portfolio rebalancing, and increased outward foreign direct investment, he said.

(Editing by Kim Coghill)

Rates

View Comments (31)

Recommended for You

  • Tycoon buys 30 Rolls-Royces for Macau hotel

    A Hong Kong tycoon has placed the biggest ever order for Rolls-Royce cars, agreeing to buy 30 Phantoms to chauffeur guests at a luxury resort he's building in the global gambling capital of Macau. Stephen Hung's $20 million purchase surpasses the 14 Phantoms bought by Hong Kong's Peninsula Hotel in…

    Associated Press
  • Norwich Information Security MS

    Online, accredited, top ranked. NSA Center of Academic Excellence. Recognized by the Department of Homeland Security. Download your free brochure!

    AdChoicesNorwich UniversitySponsored
  • Tycoon's arrest sends shock wave through Russia

    Tycoon's arrest sends shock wave through Russia MOSCOW (AP) — The arrest of a Russian telecoms and oil tycoon has sent shock waves through the country's business community, with some fearing a return to the dark days of a decade ago, when the Kremlin asserted its power by imprisoning the country's…

    Associated Press
  • Before You Buy Alibaba, Check Out 4 Top China Stocks

    Before You Buy Alibaba, Check Out 4 Top China Stocks While investors gear up for Alibaba Group 's (BABA) hotly anticipated initial public offering, don't forget about other Chinese stocks that are worth keeping an eye on. Today's Young Guns Screen of

    Investor's Business Daily
  • As Fed takes baby steps, Cramer's trick for profit

    In turn, Cramer says making money in the market, involves looking at the environment through the lens of the Fed. "The trick is to remember that they speak for the common person," Cramer said. "The Fed wants the common person to make money." With that backdrop always in mind, Cramer says it becomes…

    CNBC
  • "The Retiree Next Door": How successful retirees stretch their savings

    "The Retiree Next Door": How successful retirees stretch their savingsBy the time she hit her late 40s, Toni Eugenia wasn’t sure she would ever be able to retire. Eugenia, 56, a pharmacy technician who lived in Houston, was nearly $200,000 in debt and

    Yahoo Finance
  • Play

    Citi, Bank of America Offer Discounted Mortgages

    Citigroup and Bank of America will offer mortgages at discounted interest rates to help borrowers with low incomes or subprime credit. AnnaMaria Andriotis joins MoneyBeat. Photo: Getty.

    WSJ Live
  • Costco Stores in Canada to Stop Taking American Express

    “The credit card relationship between American Express and Costco Wholesale Canada will not be renewed when it expires” on Dec. 31, the company said today in an e-mail to Canadian customers. The message was attributed to Lorelle Gilpin, vice president of marketing and membership for Costco…

    Bloomberg
  • Master's Degree in Nursing

    CCNE accredited MS in nursing in as few as 18 months online. Learn more today!

    AdChoicesNorwich UniversitySponsored
  • CNBC Anchor Calls Out Fed-Hater Bill Fleckenstein In Startling Shouting Match

    CNBC Bill Fleckenstein of Fleckenstein Capital appeared on CNBC's Futures Now program on Tuesday. Futures Now host Jackie DeAngelis came out swinging, asking Fleckenstein right at the top if he was willing to admit that he had misunderstood monetary policy. Sounding taken aback, Fleckenstein…

    Business Insider
  • Beanie Babies creator's sentence debated in court

    Beanie Babies creator's sentence debated in court CHICAGO (AP) — Federal prosecutors seeking to put the billionaire creator of Beanie Babies in prison for hiding millions in Swiss bank accounts told appellate court judges Wednesday that the toymaker's sentence of probation threatens to erode the…

    Associated Press
  • Apple to unveil new iPads, operating system on Oct. 21 : report

    The company plans to unveil the sixth generation of its iPad and the third edition of the iPad mini, as well as its operating system OS X Yosemite, which has undergone a complete visual overhaul, the Internet news website said. Trudy Muller, a spokeswoman for Apple, declined to comment. The iPad is…

    Reuters
  • Gilead Stock Is Falling On These Drug Setbacks

    Gilead Stock Is Falling On These Drug Setbacks Gilead Sciences (GILD) shares are backsliding Wednesday on news that the patient drop-out rate for hepatitis C drug Sovaldi is quadruple that of clinical trials. In addition, the biotech's Phase 2 study results

    Investor's Business Daily
  • Margaritaville casino owners seek bankruptcy

    The owner of Biloxi's Margaritaville casino has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Tuesday, only hours before a hearing where the landlord aimed to seize the property. The filing by MVB Holding LLC in U.S. Don Dornan, a lawyer for landlord Clay Point LLC, said the company had planned to ask…

    Associated Press
  • Embraer to sell 50 E-175 jets to Republic in $2.1 billion deal

    Brazil's Embraer SA, the world's third largest commercial planemaker, said on Wednesday it booked a firm order from U.S. The deal, which will be included in Embraer's order book for the third quarter, is valued at $2.1 billion, the planemaker said in a securities filing. The planes will be operated…

    Reuters
  • Tired of Living Paycheck to Paycheck?

    New website reveals how to save $1,000's when you're living paycheck to paycheck. See exactly how.

    AdChoices Media ForceSponsored
  • Here's What Mark Cuban Wishes He Knew About Money In His 20s

    Cuban is the owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team. Billionaire investor and entrepreneur Mark Cuban is generous with his advice. When we asked him what he wishes he'd known about money in his 20s, he said:

    Business Insider
  • SHOE COMPANY: Our CEO Just Disappeared And Most Of The Money Is Gone

    "and like that: he's gone." This is an actual headline from a company press release: "CEO and COO disappeared, most of the company's cash missing." (Via FastFT) In a statement, German-based shoe company Ultrasonic said its CFO,  Chi Kwong Clifford Chan, has been unable to reach the company's CEO,…

    Business Insider
  • Play

    What the Fed Meeting Means for Bonds

    Janet Yellen & Co. are expected to hint at their timetable for raising interest rates. Here's how investors should prepare ahead of the meeting.

    WSJ Live
  • Billionaire Investor Says Chinese People Work Harder And Western Companies Could Face Deep Trouble After Alibaba IPO

    Michael Moritz, the chairman of VC firm Sequoia Capital, is a huge fan of Chinese internet companies and reiterated his enthusiasm for the Chinese market in an interview with The Wall Street Journal Wednesday. The billionaire investor described the Alibaba IPO as a “major landmark event” that is as…

    Business Insider
  • Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AEP, BHP, GE, Incyte, 3M, Tyco, Under Armour and More

    Top Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades: AEP, BHP, GE, Incyte, 3M, Tyco, Under Armour and More Stocks were firm on Wednesday morning ahead of the FOMC meeting outcome. Tuesday’s rally may have sparked higher interest again, and investors are looking for bargains

    24/7 Wall St.
  • 6 Things Debt Collectors Wish You Knew

    The work debt collectors do is not popular, and has become increasingly derided by those who don’t like what we do or simply don’t know the facts about debt collection. Too often, debt collection is painted with a broad brush to create a portrait that isn’t accurate, and doesn’t properly educate…

    Credit.com
  • Masters in Law Degree-Non JD

    Elevate your knowledge. Advance your career. Get Your Masters in Law. Online and Accredited. Graduate in Less Than 2 years. Free Brochure!

    AdChoicesChamplain CollegeSponsored
  • Boeing may have outfoxed Musk, but it could have bigger problems

    Elon Musk is arguably one of the greatest entrepreneurial minds of the 21st Century, but he was outsized an old school aerospace giant. Boeing won the bulk of NASA’s contract for a space taxi.  One of the other companies vying for the deal is SpaceX, the company headed by Tesla’s Musk, will get a…

    Talking Numbers