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Southeast Asia Is Riding a Global Trade Boom

  • Region set to sustain solid expansion after impressive year
  • Low inflation allows central banks to tighten moderately
Philippine Stock Exchange in Manila.

Philippine Stock Exchange in Manila.

Photographer: Taylor Weidman

Southeast Asian nations are riding a global trade boom that’s set to underpin solid economic growth next year, supporting the region as it embarks on monetary policy tightening and braces for a spate of elections.

The Philippines and Vietnam will remain the star performers in 2018, with economic growth projected to exceed 6 percent again, according to the median forecasts of economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Most of the region’s top six economies are set to sustain 2017 momentum, with growth in Indonesia seen mildly firmer at 5.3 percent next year, while Singapore and Malaysia will probably moderate.