Asia will grow at 6-pct in 2018, Trade risk warnings: ADB

Apr 12, 2018 (LBO) – The Asian Development Bank raised its 2018 economic growth estimate for developing Asia to 6.0 per cent from 5.8 per cent, citing solid export demand, but said US protectionist measures and any retaliation against them could undermine trade.

Growth in developing Asia would only ease slightly to 5.9 per cent in 2019, the bank said in its 2018 Asian Development Outlook released on Wednesday. Strong external and domestic demand helped economies in the region expand by an average 6.1 per cent last year.

While protectionist trade measures by the United States so far this year have yet to dent trade flows to and from Asia, the risks are there, the Manila-based institution said.

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

China has blamed the United States for trade frictions amid escalating threats of tariffs on billions of dollars worth of goods between the world’s two biggest economies, sparked by US frustration with China’s trade and intellectual property policies.