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Growth prospects for energy-hungry Asia revised higher

The Asian Development Bank estimated Chinese growth for the year at 6.7 percent, 0.2 percent higher than previously expected.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Growth prospects for energy-hungry Asia revised higher
The Asian Development Bank said it expects the Chinese economy to expand faster than initially expected. Photo by Stephen Shaver/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 26 (UPI) -- Growth in the developed economies of Asia should continue, especially if crude oil prices stay at moderate levels, the Asian Development Bank said.

"Growth prospects for developing Asia are looking up, bolstered by a revival in world trade and strong momentum in the People's Republic of China," ADB Chief Economist Yasuyuki Sawada said in a statement Tuesday.

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China has the second largest economy in the world after the United States. The ADB said Chinese growth in the first half of the year was stronger than expected. Expansion of 6.7 percent is expected this year, an increase of 0.2 percent from the previous forecast. By contrast, The Conference Board said the U.S. economy should grow by about 2.7 percent for the rest of the year.

Combined with prospects for India and other expanding economies, the ADB said the region as a whole should experience growth of around 5.9 percent this year.

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Asian economies, especially China's, matter for commodity markets and traders watching the global balance between oil supplies and oil demand. Analysis published last week by the International Energy Agency said the perception of balance depends on China. By its estimates, the Chinese market was oversupplied by 1 million barrels of oil per day during the first half of the year.

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The ADB said growth across the region was supported by stronger trade levels. Using the value of the U.S. dollar as a metric, the bank said the regional export value increased 11 percent during the first five months of the year when compared with the same period in 2016. That follows two straight years of a contraction in export values.

"Loose fiscal policy in the U.S. and lower oil prices are potential upside risks to the region, while downside risks include tighter global liquidity, economic disruption from a geopolitical event, or a weather-related disaster," the ADB said.

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