ASEAN Economy Set for 5.1% Growth in 2022

ASEAN economic growth is expected at 5.1 percent in 2022 and at 5.2 percent in 2023, the ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) said on 12 April in its annual flagship report, the ASEAN+3 Regional Economic Outlook (AREO) 2022.

The ASEAN-Plus Three (APT) consists of the 10 ASEAN member states plus China, Japan, and South Korea. In 2019, the total ASEAN-Plus Three trade reached US$890.2 billion, accounting for 31.6 percent of ASEAN’s total merchandise trade, according to ASEAN data.

In ASEAN+3, economic growth is expected at 4.7 percent this year and 4.6 percent in 2023, with growth in Asia and Southeast Asia set to normalise as the pandemic recedes, the AMRO staff forecast.

The growth outlook is underpinned by the region’s high vaccination rates, which should help mitigate the health risks of COVID-19.

“Now, as we move through 2022, it appears as though the region may finally have gained some ground in its long battle against the virus and we can now look forward to a fuller opening-up and a strong economic recovery,” AMRO Chief Economist, Dr. Hoe Ee Khor, said in a statement.

The Russian war in Ukraine and soaring inflation globally are new risks to the economic outlook in the ASEAN region and its neighbours, AMRO said.

“ASEAN+3 policymakers will have to be nimble as they navigate this complex environment, strengthen economic recovery, and rebuild policy space,” Dr. Khor said. “This will not be our last crisis. We must rebuild, and continuously innovate and learn as we prepare for the next crisis.”