Publication: Tightening Demand to Maintain Macroeconomic Balances : Lao PDR Economic Monitor, November 2012

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World Bank
Global and regional economic development continues to face uncertainties in 2012. East Asia and the Pacific region's growth is estimated to slow down compared to 2011, but remains robust compared with other regions thanks to sustained domestic investment and consumption. Lao PDR continues to maintain robust growth this year but faces a challenge to manage domestic demand. On the supply side, the construction, services, industry and agriculture sectors are the main drivers of growth; while on the demand side, public spending and private investment including demand driven by preparations for the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) has played an important role in boosting the economy this year. In spite of robust growth, inflation has been declining, mostly on account of declining food and fuel inflation. However, home-grown and external risks associated with low reserves coverage, increased exposure to mining revenues, fast banking expansion with limited supervision capacity and a large number of newly announced large investment projects warrant close monitoring to preserve macroeconomic stability and sustainable growth. Stronger than expected revenue performance from the mining sector and external grants contributed to an improvement in the fiscal performance in FY11/12.With the contribution of mining revenue increasing, closely monitoring commodity price fluctuations is becoming increasingly important. The fiscal deficit in FY12/13 is expected to slightly widen as a result of a planned wage increase. Strong pressure on external reserves calls for tightening of aggregate demand. Credit growth remains high and is putting pressure on falling reserves. Credit growth has picked up in June 2012 driven by increased credit to the private sector and SOEs. Private sector credit growth is driven by buoyant performance in construction, manufacturing and service sectors. The Bank of Lao PDR's disbursements to local infrastructure projects have moderated compared to their peak in 2009, but are ongoing as a result of previous commitments.
World Bank. 2012. Tightening Demand to Maintain Macroeconomic Balances : Lao PDR Economic Monitor, November 2012. © World Bank, Vientiane. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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