In its Asian Development Outlook 2012 Update, released on Wednesday, ADB projects the region's gross domestic product (GDP) growth dropping to 6.1% in 2012, and 6.7% in 2013, down significantly from 7.2% in 2011.
Asian Development Outlook and Asian Development Outlook Update are ADB's flagship economic reports analyzing economic conditions and prospects in Asia and the Pacific, and are issued in April and October, respectively.
The report notes that the ongoing sovereign debt crisis in the euro area and looming fiscal cliff in the US could have disastrous spillovers to the rest of the world, particularly developing Asia.
"Developing Asia must adapt to a moderate growth environment, and countries will need to do more to reduce their reliance on exports, rebalance their sources of growth, and increase their productivity and efficiency," said Changyong Rhee, ADB's Chief Economist.
"These measures are critical if the region is to continue lifting its people out of poverty," Rhee commented.
According to the report, China is forecast to grow 7.7% this year and 8.1% in 2013, a dramatic drop from the 9.3% posted in 2011 while for India, GDP growth will slow to 5.6% in 2012, down from 6.5% in 2011.
Growth in Southeast Asia is expected to quicken to just over 5% in 2012, mainly due to Thailand's recovery from severe flooding in 2011.
Higher levels of government spending have contributed to growth in Malaysia and the Philippines, while investment and private consumption in the sub-region are generally buoyant with inflationary pressures abating.
Economic activity in Central Asia is moderating as oil prices stabilize and external demand cools and GDP growth is now projected at 5.7% in 2012 and is expected to edge up to 6.0% in 2013.
The growth forecast remains unchanged for the Pacific region at 6% for 2012, where the resilience of larger Pacific countries, such as Papua New Guinea, is masking the weakening of some smaller economies.
If an extreme shock were to materialize, most economies in the region have room to use fiscal and monetary tools to respond. However, there is currently no region-wide need to pursue aggressive demand management.
Rather, efforts should focus on the medium-term issue of continued soft external demand, the report added.
Developing a vibrant service sector in the region can supplement growth, the ADB report added.
Source: (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2012