The World Bank has lowered its growth forecast for China in 2024 and warned that developing economies in east Asia are expected to experience one of the lowest rates of growth in five decades. The bank attributes this to US protectionism and increasing levels of debt. China’s economic output is now projected to grow by 4.4% in 2024, down from the previous estimate of 4.8%, while the forecast for GDP growth in developing economies in east Asia and the Pacific has been downgraded to 4.5%. This slowdown in growth is a cause for concern for the region, which has been a major driver of global economic growth. The World Bank highlights weak indicators such as declining retail sales, stagnant house prices, and increased household debt as factors contributing to China’s slowdown. The bank suggests that deeper reforms in the service sector, including harnessing the digital revolution, are necessary to spur growth. The situation is further exacerbated by softer global demand, declining exports, and the impact of new US trade and industrial policies. South-east Asian countries, which previously benefited from US-China trade tensions, are now experiencing a decline in exports due to protectionist measures taken by the US. As a result, these countries are seeking ways to fight back and advocate for fair treatment in trade policies.
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