Jakarta. A recent report shows that the combined economic growth of the ASEAN+3 — which puts together the 10 Southeast Asian bloc’s member states, Japan, Korea, and China — is projected to exceed 4 percent in 2023.
According to the July edition of the ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office or AMRO’s quarterly report, the region will grow by 4.6 percent this year, up from 3.2 percent in 2022. ASEAN+3’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth is expected to slightly drop to 4.5 percent in 2024.
Shimizu Toshio, the director-general for international affairs at the Japan Housing Finance Agency, brought attention to the AMRO report when addressing an ASEAN-related forum in Jakarta on Tuesday.
“ASEAN+3’s economy is expected to grow 4.6 percent [in 2023]. [The AMRO] has maintained its outlook for [ASEAN+3],” Toshio said.
Although the ASEAN+3 forecasts remain unchanged compared to the previous projection, the report downgraded the overall growth of the Southeast Asian bloc. AMRO reported back in April that ASEAN’s economy would expand by 4.9 percent. However, they revised ASEAN’s economic outlook to 4.5 percent.
Toshio added: “The [lower GDP forecast for ASEAN] was due to the impact of the weak external demand on Singapore and Vietnam.”
The collective GDP growth of the Plus-3 economies (Japan, Korea, China, and Hong Kong) enjoyed an improved outlook. AMRO formerly set it at 4.5 percent year-on-year growth for 2023 but then raised it to 4.6 percent.
“[Plus-3’s growth] reflects the strong inbound tourism and domestic demand that is mainly driven by Hong Kong and Japan,” Toshio told the forum.
Japan’s economy is expected to remain stable at around 1 percent. Japan’s GDP will likely rise 1.4 percent in 2023, and grow 1.1 percent the following year, the report shows. In 2022, Japan posted a GDP growth of 1 percent.
Toshio also spoke of the housing market within the ASEAN+3 region.
“Costs of construction materials and labor have been pushed up significantly. This has caused housing price escalation and downturned the housing market, making homes more unaffordable,” he said.
“Most central banks have tightened their monetary policies to tackle rapid inflation. … Mortgage interest rates have risen as well, making homes more unaffordable especially for lower-middle income households,” Toshio said.
Source: Jakarta Globe