Economists have upgraded growth forecasts for major Southeast Asian countries in 2022, driven by election-related spending in the Philippines and the reopening of Thailand’s tourism industry.
Gross domestic product for the five biggest members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations — Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand — will grow 5.1% in 2022, according to the latest quarterly survey by the Japan Center for Economic Research and Nikkei. That figure reflects a 0.1 percentage point upward revision from the previous survey.
The survey received responses from 38 economists and analysts and was conducted between Nov. 19 and Dec. 13, during which the first cases of the omicron coronavirus variant were confirmed.
The 2022 GDP growth forecast for the Philippines was revised up from 6.6% to 7.1% — an increase from the 2021 projection of 5.1%, which was also upgraded from 4.3%. Economists attributed the upward revisions to declining COVID-19 cases and rising expectations for increased spending ahead of the May 2022 presidential election.