East Asia To Grow 5.7% In 2007

Down from 6.3% last year

With China spearheading the region economies, East Asia will grow 5.7%, the Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) said April 17. Growth in 2006 was 6.3%.

Overall growth in the Asia Pacific region is tipped at 4.3% this year and 4.5% in 2008, still down from 5% last year, PEEC said in a report based on its forecasts for 19 economies. "China continues to drive Asian growth, with expansion in real GDP expected to top 10% through 2010."

"China's economy will be powered again by fixed asset investment, but the contribution of personal consumption to overall GDP growth is expected to be increasingly important as disposable incomes of Chinese households continue to rise," it said.

The report said Japan's economy, the world's second biggest, will expand 1.9% this year before rebounding to 2.5% next year. "The slowdown in 2007 will be due mostly to weaker production, reduced private demand, and an increasing fiscal burden," it said.

PECC is a partnership of business, government, and academics serving as a regional forum for cooperation and policy coordination.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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