Cambodia’s growth projected to ease to 6.9 percent

Phnom Penh, Oct 5 (IANS) Cambodia’s economic growth is expected to slightly ease to 6.9 percent this year, 0.2 percentage point lower than the 7.1 percent growth last year, according to a World Bank report released on Monday.

The country’s economic growth depends mainly on agriculture, tourism, garment exports and construction, Xinhua news agency reported.

The slightly lower growth for 2015 was due to “sluggish agricultural growth, uncertainty in the tourism sector and moderate garment exports”, the report said.

Growth in agricultural sector remains sluggish due to slow crop yield improvements and depressed agricultural commodity prices, it said, adding that the tourism sector keeps underperforming despite the initial recovery in tourist arrivals to Thailand.

It said tourist arrivals during the first six months grew by only 4.6 percent to reach 2.3 million visitors, compared to 6.9 percent during the same period last year.

For apparel exports, it said the value of garment exports eased to a year-on-year growth rate of 7.8 percent during the first six months of the year, compared to 9.2 percent in 2014.

World Bank-Cambodia economist Ly Sodeth said the country’s construction sector remains strong in 2015 due to political stability.

“Construction sector has become the most dynamic engine of growth, partly due to the return of political stability and a revival in consumption,” he said.

According to the report, inflation is projected to stand at 1.5 percent this year, and Cambodia’s GDP per capita is expected to reach $1,145 in 2015, a 5.6 percent increase over 2014.

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