Economies in developing Asia and the Pacific are weathering external challenges thanks to robust domestic demand, while inflationary pressures are abating, says a new report from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

In a supplement to its Asian Development Outlook 2018 Update report, ADB retained its regional growth forecast for 2018 at 6.0% and for 2019 at 5.8%.  Excluding the newly industrialized economies of Hong Kong, China; the Republic of Korea; Singapore; and Taipei, China, the regional growth outlook is maintained at 6.5% for 2018 and 6.3% for 2019.

The report notes that lower international commodity prices and central bank action to calm market volatility means inflation in developing Asia is forecast to be 2.6% in 2018 and 2.7% in 2019, down from 2.8% previously forecast for both this year and next.

Growth in China, the second largest economy in the world, is still expected at 6.6% in 2018, moderating to 6.3% next year.  Growth momentum continues in India on rebounding exports and higher industrial and agricultural output.  Growth is predicted at 7.3% in 2018 and 7.6% in 2019.

Projected growth in Central Asia as a whole in 2018 is now raised from 4.1% in the Update to 4.2%, largely reflecting an improved outlook for Kazakhstan, the subregion’s largest economy. Kazakstan’s growth projection for 2018 is raised from 3.7% in the Update to 4.0%.

The subregional growth projection for 2019 is raised from 4.2% in the Update to 4.3% as recovery in public investment and higher output from the Shah Deniz gas field enhance prospects in Azerbaijan.

Gross domestic product (GDP) growth in Central Asia in 2019 is now forecast at 4.3%, up from the 4.2% forecast in September, as a recovery in public investment and higher output from the Shah Deniz gas field enhance prospects in Azerbaijan.  As oil prices are projected to moderate in 2019, this Supplement marginally lowers the growth projection for 2019 from 3.9% to 3.8%.

South Asia’s 2019 growth is now pegged at 7.1% versus the 7.2% forecast in September.  Southeast Asia is expected to grow 5.1% in 2019 versus the previous forecast of 5.2%.  The Pacific is on track to expand 3.1% in 2019.

Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2017, ADB operations totaled $32.2 billion, including $11.9 billion in cofinancing.