Inflation in Asia Pacific region likely to reach 3.5% | Daily News


Inflation in Asia Pacific region likely to reach 3.5%

Zhenqian Huang
Zhenqian Huang

Price inflation in Asia Pacific region’s developing countries including Sri Lanka is projected to rise to 3.5 per cent during 2018 and 2019 compared with 3.2 per cent recorded in 2017.

This was revealed at a round table discussion held at Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies, conducted under the theme `The Economic Outlook for the Asia- Pacific and Mobilising Finance to Sustain Growth’. United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP), Associate Economic Affairs officer Zhenqian Huang chaired the discussion which was moderated by Dr. Ganeshan Wignaraja.

Huang said that developing Asia –Pacific economies are estimated to have sustained a relatively high economic growth rate of 5.8 per cent in 2017 compared with 5.4 per cent recorded in 2016.

“The recent recovery in global manufacturing investment and trade is providing a tailwind to the already steady expansion of economic output in the Asia- Pacific region,” she added.

Huang also revealed that investment expenditure and trade volumes which have shown lukewarm growth in recent years also showed signs of recovery in 2017.

“Supported by robust domestic demand and improved global economic prospects, developing Asia- Pacific economies are projected to grow by 5.5 per cent in both 2018 and 2019. She further said despite moderation in new trade- restrictive measures in 2017 , there is a slowdown in new trade liberalizing measures both globally and within the Asia- Pacific region.

She also said there has been an increase in non-tariff measures which are less transparent and could be more harmful and the rise in trade barriers may disrupt cross border production networks, affecting not only trade but also long term investments and productivity growth. It was also noted that damping of capital flows to the Asia –Pacific region and associated financial vulnerabilities cannot be ruled out.

“So far trade balances have remained mostly manageable in the region along with strong capital inflows due to the region’s economic buoyancy, she added.”

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