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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  17 April  2015  

Brunei GDP seen to contract 0.5%: IMF

THE International Monetary (IMF) forecasts Brunei economy to contract by 0.5 per cent this year.

The IMF, which issued its flagship World Economic Outlook (WEO) Tuesday, also expects the Sultanate’s consumer price index (CPI) to remain unchanged.

The Washington-based institution expects Brunei’s economy to recover in 2016, with GDP seen to expand by 2.8 per cent and CPI to rise by 0.1 per cent.

The IMF didn’t give details for its growth forecast on the Sultanate. But in its report released July 2014, the IMF said the main risks to Brunei’s economy “stem from energy prices, to which Brunei appears well-cushioned by substantial fiscal buffers”.

For ASEAN, the IMF forecasts ASEAN 5, which is comprised of the region’s five biggest economies, to expand 5.2 percent. This is faster than the 4.6 per cent growth posted in 2014.

Like most countries in Asia, the ASEAN 5 - which is composed of Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines and Vietnam - are expected to benefit from falling oil prices as most of them are net oil importers.

“In 2015, the sharp fall in world commodity prices will support GDP growth across the (Asia-Pacific) region. With the region being a net oil importer, the drop in oil prices will generate a windfall spur to purchasing power of about 1.7 percent of regional GDP in 2015, providing support to domestic spending and raising current accounts,” the IMF said in its report.

The IMF said growth trends within ASEAN 5 will “continue to diverge”.

“Indonesia’s growth is forecast to remain broadly unchanged in 2015, but to rise in 2016 as reforms are implemented. Malaysia’s growth is expected to slow this year (to 4.8 percent) on weaker terms of trade. Thailand’s outlook is expected to improve on greater clarity on near-term policies, and growth in the Philippines has been revised upward to 6.7 percent in 2015 on stronger consumption from the oil price windfall,” IMF said.

Indonesia and Malaysia, which are key exporters of commodities, are expected to have lower export earnings.--The Brunei Times

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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