Nepal's growth to be higher than projected

Kathmandu, July 19

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has said that Nepal's economic growth in fiscal 2017-18 will supersede the earlier projection.

The Asian Development Outlook Supplement unveiled by the ADB today has said that agricultural output and industrial growth will push the country's growth higher than that projected by the multilateral bank earlier.

The Asian Development Outlook (ADO) - ADB's flagship publication - had projected that the country would achieve growth of 4.9 per cent in April this year. However, the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) has already made projection of 5.89 per cent growth in fiscal 2017-18.

The ADO supplement unveiled today has backed the CBS's forecast stating that an upward revision for Nepal reflects industry growth exceeding expectations with enhanced capacity utilisation, as well as expansion in energy and construction. “The service sector contributed to the upward revision as wholesale and retail trade, financial intermediation, and travel and tourism grew faster than expected,” the ADB report added

Meanwhile, India's growth will spur South Asian growth as Indian economy is expected to grow by 7.3 per cent in 2018 and 7.6 per cent in 2019, as per ADO supplement.

The ADO supplement has stated that South Asia remains the fastest expanding sub-region, with growth projected at seven per cent in 2018 and 7.2 per cent in 2019. “India is expected to achieve April forecasts of 7.3 per cent in 2018 and 7.6 per cent in 2019 as bank-strengthening bolsters private investment and benefits kick in from a new goods and services tax,” as per the ADO supplement.

The report has further stated that agriculture growth was higher than expected in Bangladesh as authorities offset flood-induced losses to the summer and monsoon rice crops by quickly extending seedlings and other support services to farmers. Industry growth was higher on stronger performances in manufacturing and construction. Likewise, agriculture recorded notable improvement over the previous fiscal and surpassed annual growth target of 3.5 per cent on stronger growth in major crops and a modest increase in livestock in Pakistan.

However, Sri Lanka's economic growth slowed to 3.2 per cent in first quarter of 2018 as construction shrank, but construction is expected to pick up over rest of year as work continues on flagship projects in public sector, said ADO supplement.

Bhutan's growth could shrink as hydropower production and tourism were lower than expected from July 2017 to April 2018.