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IMF raises 2018 GDP growth forecast for Asia, Hong Kong

IMF raises 2018 GDP growth forecast for Asia, Hong Kong

HONG KONG – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) raised its forecast for Asia’s economic growth to 5.6 percent, and that for Hong Kong to 3.6 percent, according to a report it released here Wednesday.

The IMF released its latest regional outlook for the Asia Pacific, forecasting economic growth in Asia at 5.6 percent in 2018 and 2019, slightly higher than last October’s estimate for 0.1 percentage point.

Its forecast for Hong Kong’s economic growth was raised to 3.6 percent for this year, and 3.2 percent in 2019, up 1 and 0.3 percentage point respectively from its forecast made in October, 2017.

The report stated that the economic outlook for Asia and the Pacific remains strong, and the region continues to be the most dynamic of the global economy.

However, Asia is vulnerable to tightening of global financial conditions. Long-term growth prospects for Asia-Pacific are impacted by population aging, slowing productivity growth, and the rise of the digital economy.

Given the many uncertainties, macroeconomic policies should be conservative and aimed at building buffers and increasing resilience. Policymakers should also push ahead with structural reforms to address medium- and long-term challenges, according to the report.