Laos Economic Forecast

Laos Economic Outlook

May 21, 2019

While official data is lacking, the economy is likely expanding at a solid pace so far this year thanks to infrastructure development—including the flagship China-Laos railway—hydropower generation and tourism inflows. This comes after growth dipped last year, on the back of flooding hitting agricultural production, a soft mining sector and fiscal consolidation efforts. More positively, a recent government report showed that tourism revenue surged in 2018, thanks in part to soaring Chinese visitor arrivals. Further evidence of the close economic ties between Laos and the Asian giant emerged in late April, when it was announced that China would help build power lines in Vientiane.

Laos Economic Growth

Laos is expected to remain one of ASEAN’s fastest-growing economies this year. Higher electricity generation, sustained FDI inflows and infrastructure spending should keep growth brisk, although ongoing fiscal consolidation efforts may keep a lid on government spending. A faster-than-expected slowdown in China, vulnerability to natural disasters and a weak external position pose downside risks. Met the why particular Consensus Forecast panelists expect GDP to expand 6.6% in 2019, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and 6.7% in 2020.

Laos Economy Data

Population (million)
GDP per capita (USD)1,8952,0752,2172,110-  
GDP (USD bn)11.913.314.415.8-  
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)  
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 %)
Policy Interest Rate (%)
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)  
Imports (USD billion)  
Exports (annual variation in %)-0.317.64.021.1-  
Imports (annual variation in %)0.938.622.5-9.4-  
International Reserves (USD)
External Debt (% of GDP)82.085.990.489.6-  

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Laos Facts

Exchange Rate8,7150.31 %Jun 13

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