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2019 Economic Outlook for Southeast Asia, China and India 2019

Towards Smart Urban Transportation

image of Economic Outlook for Southeast Asia, China and India 2019

The Economic Outlook for Southeast Asia, China and India is a bi-annual publication on regional economic growth, development and regional integration in Emerging Asia. It focuses on the economic conditions of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member countries: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam. It also addresses relevant economic issues in China and India to fully reflect economic developments in the region.

The Outlook comprises four main parts, each highlighting a particular dimension of recent economic developments in the region. The first part presents the regional economic monitor, depicting the economic outlook and macroeconomic challenges in the region. The second part consists of a special thematic chapter addressing a major issue facing the region. The 2019 edition of the Outlook looks at smart cities, with a special focus on transportation. Addressing traffic congestion, in particular, is critical in realising the potential benefits of urbanisation for growth. The third part of the report includes structural country notes offering specific recommendations for each country, and the fourth part discusses the recent progress made in key aspects of regional integration.

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Macroeconomic assessment and economic outlook

OECD Development Centre

Gross domestic product (GDP) growth in Emerging Asia – Southeast Asia, China and India – held up in 2018 despite external and domestic headwinds. In Southeast Asia, economic expansion rates remained robust in general, although the trends by country diverged somewhat. While China’s economic growth is gradually slowing, GDP growth in India is expected to remain robust. As for the region’s private consumption story, resilience continued, underpinned by stability in labour markets and overseas transfers in some cases. Growth in gross exports likewise withstood trade policy uncertainties rather well. Several monetary authorities in the region have raised interest rates to address monetary normalisation of advanced economies as well as price and exchange rate pressures. These moves have been accompanied by policies to provide liquidity to support growth. Fiscal positions in the region are generally stable. The main risks to growth are related to the financial technologies (Fintech), constraints to international trade and the management of natural disaster risks.

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