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Brunei’s economic growth projected at 4.1pc in 2022

Azlan Othman

The ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) expected the ASEAN+3 region to remain resilient in 2022, despite new challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic and the global economy.

AMRO maintained a positive outlook on ASEAN+3 economies for 2022, with regional gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 4.9 per cent and inflation remaining relatively low at 2.9 per cent for the year.

AMRO’s conclusions are a part of its latest update on its flagship report titled ASEAN+3 Regional Economic Outlook (AREO).

Brunei Darussalam economic growth is projected to be 4.1 per cent in 2022 and 0.2 per cent in 2021. In their October 2021 forecast earlier, the projected economic growth was 2.1 per cent in 2021 and 3.2 per cent in 2022.

On the ASEAN economy, AMRO pointed out that the emergence of the Omicron variant towards the end of 2021 brought new uncertainties and set back the progress of economic re-opening.

High vaccination coverage has mitigated the risk of nationwide lockdowns, as experienced during the early days of the pandemic.

“The ASEAN+3 region has sufficient policy space to navigate through these new challenges, and stay on its recovery path,” AMRO’s Chief Economist Dr Hoe Ee Khor said.

“A resurgence of infections continues to be the key downside risk, amplified by lingering global supply chain disruptions and rising global price pressures,” Dr Khor said, adding that, “While the rise in global inflation is likely to prompt major advanced economies to roll back extraordinary monetary support earlier or more sharply than anticipated, the spillover effects for the region is likely to be limited because of greater resilience.”

According to its economic outlook report published last week based on AMRO’s Virtual Annual Consultation Visit to Brunei Darussalam in October 2021, the Sultanate’s economy is projected to rebound moderately to 2.1 per cent in 2021, benefitting from the improvement in global oil prices and demand because of the strong global recovery.

Supported by higher oil earnings, the country’s re-tightening of containment measures and extension of support measures should help cushion the economic impact of the current wave of COVID-19 infections.

Among ASEAN economies, Vietnam is expected to grow the fastest this year at 7.5 per cent, followed by the Philippines and Cambodia and Indonesia at 5.2 per cent. AMRO’s findings are part of the ASEAN+3 Regional Economic Outlook, which will be published in April.