UN predicts China to drive East Asia's economic recovery this year

Photo taken on Oct. 3, 2022, shows the view of skyscrapers of the Central Business District (CBD) at dusk in Beijing, capital of China. (Xinhua/Wang Jianhua)

China's economy is expected to grow by 4.8 percent this year, leading the economic recovery in East Asia, according to the UN World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2023 report.

BANGKOK, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- The economic growth in East Asia is projected to accelerate in 2023 driven by an improvement in the Chinese economy, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) said here on Thursday.

Quoting the UN World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) 2023 report, the Bangkok-headquartered ESCAP told an online press briefing that economic growth in East Asia is forecast to rise to 4.4 percent in 2023 from an estimated 3.2 percent in 2022.

The report said the Chinese economy is expected to accelerate as the government recently optimized its prevention measures and eased monetary and fiscal policies, adding that its economy is expected to grow by 4.8 percent in 2023, compared to the growth of 3.0 percent in 2022.

This photo taken on Nov. 4, 2022, shows an evening view of the Lujiazui area in east China's Shanghai. (Xinhua/Wang Xiang)

However, it highlighted that despite being supported by the Chinese economy, the economic recovery in the region remains fragile. Many economies (other than China) are losing steam amid fading pent-up demand, rising living costs, and weakening export demand from the United States and Europe.

East and South Asia's near-term economic prospects face a deteriorating global environment, which has been overshadowed by sharp inflation, food and energy crisis, and debt deflation, the report noted.

"Climate risks are expected to continue affecting many countries in the region, exacerbating food insecurity and adding further pressure on inflation," it warned.

An extended period of economic weakness would hamper poverty eradication and constrain countries' ability to invest in the Sustainable Development Goals more broadly, the report said, calling for collective efforts to address these challenges.

Editor: Li Shimeng