November 18, 2007
ADB : Growth and Energy
Asia growth on track despite high energy costs
Asian economic growth will remain strong this year and in 2008 despite higher energy costs and recent market turbulence, Asian Development Bank president Haruhiko Kuroda said Saturday.
He said there would be no change to the bank's latest regional growth forecast of 8.3 percent this year and 8.2 percent in 2008 -- and that developing Asia, excluding Japan, could even beat that forecast.
"There are a few risks... but as I said, despite these risks, our main scenario for Asian economies is that growth will continue this year as well as next year," Kuroda said on the sidelines of an ASEAN business meeting.
"I think basically the figure is correct and appropriate. But as I say, there may be some possibility that the Asian economy may even outperform that latest guide," he told reporters.
Developing economies in the region grew 8.5 percent last year.
He acknowledged higher oil prices could have a "negative impact" but he was upbeat about the prospects for the region, which has shown its resilience despite a steady rise in energy prices.
"Growth momentum in Asia is so strong that up until now the Asian economies have grown very rapidly despite very high level of oil prices," said Kuroda.
"So at this stage, we are aware of the risks but (Asia's) scenario will not be changing," he said.
New York oil prices closed above 95 US dollars a barrel on Friday amid fresh tensions over Iran and predictions that OPEC will not discuss raising output at its weekend summit.