Laos Economic Forecast

Laos Economic Outlook

January 22, 2019

While hard data remains limited, economic growth is expected to have remained robust in 2018, powered by infrastructure spending, an influx of FDI and power generation. However, agricultural output appeared to languish from the impact of poor weather conditions. The tropical storms also impacted tourist arrivals, which fell short of the government’s target for the year. Moreover, the failure to capture the benefits of economic integration within ASEAN—underlined by a recent study highlighting its fall in export share within the association over recent years—demonstrates the progress yet to be made on improving trade competitiveness and the business climate.

Laos Economic Growth

The economy is expected to gather steam in 2019. Sustained FDI inflows, transport infrastructure investment and stronger energy sector exports, driven by the completion of new hydroelectric dams, should power growth. Headwinds stem from persistent twin deficits, weak foreign reserves and the implications of slower growth in China. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panelists expect GDP to expand 6.7% in 2019, which is down 0.2 percentage points 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 Rate8,5630.31 %Jan 30

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