ADB revises forecast for China's 2015 economic growth higher

MANILA: The Asian Development Bank has raised its 2015 economic growth forecast for China slightly, supporting expectations the world's second largest economy will avert a hard landing this year.

China's economy is now expected to clock growth of 6.9 percent in 2015, up from a previously expected 6.8 percent, the ADB said in its outlook update released on Thursday. The agency maintained its 2016 forecast for growth at 6.7 percent.

"Despite an ongoing housing overhang and excess industrial capacity, China's economy has remained resilient, supported primarily by private consumption and services," ADB said in a statement, adding fiscal and monetary stimulus measures should continue to provide support.

The Manila-based lender maintained its growth projections for developing Asia at 5.8 percent in 2015 and 6.0 percent in 2016, a testament to the region's resilience to continued weakness in advanced economies.

"The region's growth is supported by vibrant private consumption in China and expanded industrial production in India and other countries," said ADB chief economist Shang-Jin Wei.

The region, which groups 45 countries in Asia-Pacific, grew 6.2 percent in 2014.

The ADB kept its growth forecast for India unchanged at 7.4 percent for this year and 7.8 percent for next year.

It lowered its growth outlook for Central Asia to 3.2 percent from 3.3 percent for 2015 and 3.7 percent from 4.2 percent for 2016, but maintained estimates for East Asia and South Asia.

Southeast Asia is still seen growing 4.4 percent this year and 4.9 percent next year even as the ADB downgraded its growth forecast for Indonesia, due to slow government spending and weak exports.

Inflation in developing Asia in 2016 is now forecast to be slightly lower at 2.7 percent, compared with the 3.0 percent seen in September.