Asia Pacific: Economic overview
Major Asian economies look set to slow down this year.
China is trying to wean its economy off its dependence on investments and exports, and despite strong growth in exports in March, the country’s GDP growth is expected to fall to 6.5% this year compared with 6.9% in 2015. The slowdown is expected to continue in 2017, with the economy forecast to expand by only 6.3%. Supply-side reforms and an increasing labour shortage are some of the factors that are dragging on China’s growth. The slowdown has raised concerns about the negative effect on the global economy. However, despite the cooling economic growth, China’s gas demand is expected to rise at a faster rate this year than in 2016, with gas consumption having increased by 18-19% at the start of the year.