Laos Economic Forecast

Laos Economic Outlook

January 23, 2018

The economy performed well last year, partly due to healthy investment in the electricity sector and a good year for the agricultural sector thanks to favorable weather conditions. Judging from developments in recent weeks, the economy is well positioned at the start of 2018. On 3 January, government officials from Laos and China signed an agreement that will see additional Chinese aid support infrastructure development along the Mekong River. China is the largest source of foreign investment for Laos and its purse strings have helped spur economic growth in recent years. Meanwhile, plans are afoot for an agreement between Laos and Myanmar to export more electricity to Myanmar, which would serve to benefit the electricity sector.

Laos Economic Growth

Economic growth is expected to be robust this year on the back of a growing electricity sector and healthy regional growth. However, the outlook is vulnerable to external risks including weaker commodity prices and disturbances in capital inflows. 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 6.8%.

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 Rate8,2810.31 %Feb 16

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