Lao economy to grow at 2.2 pct in 2022: IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is predicting that Laos will see economic growth of 2.2 percent in 2022 before rising 3.1 percent in 2023.

The IMF's October projection remained unchanged at 2.2 percent, but the figure was downgraded from a 3.2-percent forecast in April, according to an updated report released on the IMF website on Saturday.

The IMF's downgraded growth for Laos is linked to both external and internal factors, with the report forecasting that global growth will decrease from 6.0 percent in 2021 to 3.2 percent in 2022 and 2.7 percent in 2023.

"About a third of the world economy faces two consecutive quarters of negative growth. Global inflation is forecast to rise from 4.7 percent in 2021 to 8.8 percent in 2022 but to decline to 6.5 percent in 2023 and to 4.1 percent by 2024," according to the report.

In Laos, the skyrocketing price of fuel and the petrol shortage in May and June have had huge effects on economic activities, notably agriculture and manufacturing.

Meanwhile, in its recent report released on Sept. 21, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) lowered its 2022 growth outlook for Laos to 2.5 percent from 3.4 percent projected in April and to 3.5 percent from 3.7 percent for 2023.

The downgrade is linked to supply disruptions and rising commodity prices, which have increased inflationary pressures.

In addition, the World Bank's East Asia and Pacific October 2022 Economic Update also lowered the growth forecast for Laos in 2022 to 2.5 percent from an earlier 3.8-percent projection for 2023.

In September, the Lao Academy of Social and Economic Science (LASES) lowered its economic growth forecast for Laos to 3 percent in 2022, from 4 percent projected in previous months.

The academy said the downgraded projection of economic growth is due to slow expansion in sectors relating to consumption, exports, and private and state investment.

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