MANILA - The ASEAN+3 region composed of Southeast Asian countries, China, Japan and Korea is seen to grow by 4.6 percent in 2023, an economic think-tank said on Thursday.
Growth in ASEAN+3 is also expected to hit 4.5 percent in 2024, the ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) said.
For Asia alone, AMRO forecasts a 4.9 percent growth in 2023 and 5.2 percent in 2023.
“The ASEAN+3 region is expected to remain resilient notwithstanding the strong headwinds of weaker external demand and tighter global financial conditions. The boost in tourism and intraregional trade from the rebound in China’s economy will help mitigate softer external demand from the United States and Europe,” said AMRO Chief Economist, Hoe Ee Khor.
For the Philippines, AMRO said its economy could grow by 6.2 percent in 2023 and 6.5 percent in 2024. However, inflation is seen to remain elevated at 5.9 percent this year before reverting to within target at 3.8 percent in 2024, according to the ASEAN+3 Regional Economic Outlook (AREO).
Inflation in the region is expected to moderate to 4.7 percent in 2023 from 6.5 percent the previous year, before "normalizing" to 3 percent in 2024, the report said.
But AMRO said downside risks still loom including the spike in energy prices, a weaker than anticipated China recovery and a slowdown in the US.
“Drawing from the lessons learned from the Asian Financial Crisis, ASEAN+3 financial systems are now more resilient and well-regulated,” said Dr. Khor. “However, we are living in precarious times. Policymakers need to remain vigilant and continue to rebuild policy buffers. They also need to remain flexible to extend additional support to the economy, if necessary.”
AMRO is also urging the ASEAN+3 economies to work together to boost the region's net zero drive.
“The sooner scalable, reliable, and affordable low-carbon alternatives become available for ASEAN+3, the less painful and costly the transition away from fossil fuels will be,” said AMRO Group Head Ling Hui Tan, one of the key authors of the AREO.