Laos Economic Forecast

Laos Economic Outlook

February 19, 2019

The economy likely began 2019 on a strong footing. Hydroelectric generation should remain a key driver of growth in Q1, while infrastructure projects, such as the Laos–China railway and the building of several hydropower dams, should also propel momentum. That being said, agricultural output, particularly of rice, is likely being hampered by damage caused by flooding last year. In early February, the government unveiled its National Development Vision for 2021–2025. The plan aspires to steer the country away from natural resource dependency and to bolster the private sector through pro-business reforms and improved access to business capital.

Laos Economic Growth

Economic growth is set to remain strong in 2019 on the heels of solid energy exports, continued infrastructure spending, and higher FDI inflows. Nevertheless, vulnerability to external shocks, persistent twin deficits and a slowdown in China—a key trading partner—represent the principal risks to the outlook. Met the why particular Consensus Forecast panelists expect GDP to expand 6.7% in 2019, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast, and 6.8% in 2020.

Laos Economy Data

20132014201520162017
Population (million)6.36.46.56.66.7
GDP per capita (USD)1,8952,0752,2172,110-  
GDP (USD bn)11.913.314.415.8-  
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)8.07.67.37.0-  
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-5.0-4.1-2.4-4.7-  
Public Debt (% of GDP)54.358.658.158.4-  
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)6.44.11.31.60.8
Policy Interest Rate (%)6.256.255.635.315.00
Exchange Rate (vs USD)7,9388,0358,1228,1618,196
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)7,8398,0488,1358,1338,254
Current Account (% of GDP)-28.4-20.0-18.0-12.0-  
Current Account Balance (USD bn)-3.4-2.7-2.6-1.9-  
Trade Balance (USD billion)-0.8-1.6-2.5-1.4-  
Exports (USD billion)2.32.72.83.4-  
Imports (USD billion)3.14.35.24.7-  
Exports (annual variation in %)-0.317.64.021.1-  
Imports (annual variation in %)0.938.622.5-9.4-  
International Reserves (USD)0.70.91.10.91.3
External Debt (% of GDP)82.085.990.489.6-  

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Laos Facts

ValueChangeDate
Exchange Rate8,5900.31 %Mar 11

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