The World Bank on Monday clipped its forecast for China's growth in 2014 to 7.6 percent, down from the 7.7 percent rate it had projected earlier.
The report expressed concerns about China's policy agenda being too ambitious and encouraged reforms as the path to sustained growth, as the world's second-largest economy, which posted disappointing data on manufacturing and industrial production, now faces concerns about a slowdown.
“If implemented, the reforms will have a profound impact on China’s land, labor and capital markets and enhance the long-term sustainability of its economic growth. Some reforms are also likely to support growth in the short term,” the report said. “The reform process is likely to be gradual, with more specific follow-up implementation plans expected as the year goes on.”
The report recommended that China remove entry barriers, simplify approval procedures, and reduce regulatory and administrative burdens to enhance incentives for private investment, specifically in sectors under government control.
The World Bank also expects a slowdown in the economies of Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines, according to the report, but projected global growth, led by high-income countries, to accelerate to 3 percent in 2014, helped along by reduced policy uncertainty and heightened activity in the private sector.
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While Thailand's economy is expected to suffer from the ongoing political strife in the country, the report also warned of steeply rising government debt in countries such as Malaysia and Vietnam, which it said have led these countries to increase their deficit target.
Vietnam's target for deficit as a percentage of GDP between 2011 and 2015 was revised up to 5.3 percent in 2013 from 4.8 percent in 2012. This number was originally pegged to be 4.5 percent of GDP. Indonesia’s fiscal deficit widened to 2.2 percent in 2013 from 1.9 percent in 2012.
"East Asia Pacific has served as the world's main growth engine since the global financial crisis," said Axel van Trotsenburg, a vice president at the World Bank, according to BBC, adding: "Stronger global growth this year will help the region expand at a relatively steady pace while adjusting to tighter global financial conditions."