Laos Economic Forecast

Laos Economic Outlook

November 14, 2017

Economic momentum appears to have continued at a solid pace, carried by strong external demand and public investment in infrastructure. External demand was buoyed by higher commodity prices and growing economic momentum in key trade partners. On 31 October, the Ministry of Finance met with the National Assembly to discuss the 2018 budget, which includes a modest increase in spending. Following missed revenue targets in H1 2017, the government is focusing on fiscal consolidation and measures to increase revenue in 2018 through modernizing its VAT and income tax rates to thwart a further widening of the fiscal deficit.

Laos Economic Growth

The economy is expected to perform well in 2018, supported by solid foreign investment and strong regional growth, which will boost external demand. The government also recently implemented an initiative, Laos Tourism Year 2018, to develop the tourism sector, which should help stimulate the economy. The country, however, remains vulnerable to external shocks. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect GDP to expand 6.7% in 2018, unchanged from last month’s forecast. For 2019, the panel expects growth of 6.9%.

Laos Economy Data

Population (million)
GDP per capita (USD)1,4081,6531,7022,0472,220
GDP (USD bn)9.411.211.714.415.9
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-0.5-5.6-4.5-2.7-5.9
Public Debt (% of GDP)62.261.565.365.667.3
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)
Policy Interest Rate (%)
Exchange Rate (vs USD)7,9907,9388,0358,1228,161
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)8,0087,8398,0488,1358,133
Current Account (% of GDP)-29.9-29.6-20.7-16.8-  
Current Account Balance (USD bn)-2.8-3.3-2.4-2.4-  
Trade Balance (USD billion)-0.8-0.8-1.6-2.5-1.7
Exports (USD billion)
Imports (USD billion)
Exports (annual variation in %)3.7-0.317.64.09.1
Imports (annual variation in %)27.10.938.622.5-9.8
International Reserves (USD)  
External Debt (% of GDP)87.484.286.880.9-  

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Laos Facts

Exchange Rate8,3230.31 %Dec 06

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