Philippines, Vietnam top ASEAN growth

SINGAPORE: Growth prospects for export-oriented economies in Southeast Asia, such as Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand, will be weaker in 2016 and 2017, but some other countries are expected to do better, according to a new forecast.

In its assessment of ASEAN economies over the next couple of years, credit ratings agency Moody’s forecast growth in Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia will be weaker than in countries where growth is driven more by domestic demand.

The Philippines is projected to deliver 6% GDP growth in both years, which will be matched only by Vietnam, while Indonesia is forecast to post 4.8% growth this year and 5.4% in 2017.

“While we expect growth recoveries in Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia to be shallow, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam will post growth on par with, or exceeding, long-term averages by 2017,” the report said.

The Philippines and Indonesia depend less on external trade than other major ASEAN economies, Moody’s explained, whereas trade accounts for 346% of GDP in Singapore and 131% and 130% of GDP in Malaysia and Thailand respectively.