In a report released Monday, the World Bank projected slowing economic growth in East Asia and the Pacific for 2012. The institution estimated growth of 7.2% for the region, down a full percentage point from 2011's 8.2% gain. China in particular took a hard hit in the report, with GDP gains in the world's second-largest economy projected to be down to 7.7% for the year after last year's 9.3% growth.
It's not all bad news: The World Bank estimated growth would kick up in 2013 with recovering demand coupled with the effects of Chinese stimulus measures, driving expansion up to 7.6% in the region. While that's still below 2011's impressive statistic, the gains are crucial for continued success from the region. The institution estimates China will see 8.1% growth next year as global trade accelerates and it raised or maintained 2012 GDP projections for several Southeast Asia economies.
World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim highlighted the Pacific's importance in saying: "The East Asian and Pacific region's share in the global economy has tripled in the last two decades ... which underscores the critical importance of this region's continued growth for the rest o the world."
The report did outline risks to economic recovery, such as continued trouble in the eurozone. Still, the World Bank is optimistic about the development of Asia's swelling economies, saying poverty would decline in the region next year amid strong domestic demand.
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