Laos Economic Forecast

Laos Economic Outlook

March 19, 2019

Economic momentum should be holding up moving into 2019. Although the country is facing intensifying external headwinds from a slowing Chinese economy, strong hydroelectric generation and construction activity related to domestic infrastructure projects—including the flagship Laos-China rail line and several hydropower dams—is likely keeping growth brisk. Moreover, the effects from last year’s flooding should be fading and agricultural output could recover mildly in H1 as a result. In other news, recently-released data shows tourist arrivals rose at a robust rate in 2018.

Laos Economic Growth

Laos should remain one of the fastest growing countries in the region in 2019. Sustained FDI and ongoing infrastructure projects will be the main drivers of growth. Fiscal consolidation efforts—needed to reduce vulnerabilities to external shocks—and weaker Chinese demand could drag on growth, however. FocusEconomics 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)1,8952,0752,2172,400-  
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 Rate8,5870.31 %Mar 20

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