IMF forecasts Cambodia’s economic growth could reach 6.5% within year


PHNOM PENH — The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted that Cambodia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth would reach 6.5 percent this year, according to the IMF’s press release on Tuesday. The prediction is based on the buoyant garments exports, increasing tourist arrivals, and a gradually improving real estate sector as well as increasing agricultural sector, said the press release. However, it said that the fragility of the global recovery exposed Cambodia’s narrow export base to significant downside risks. “Cambodia is highly sensitive to economic activity in the U.S. and Europe, which account for about two thirds of its total exports and the bulk of high-end tourist arrivals,” it said, adding “any immediate financial spillovers, however, would likely be limited and mostly indirect.” The IMF’s forecast was the same as the recent predictions by the government of Cambodia, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. The IMF said that the country’s inflation rate was 5.75 percent in 2011, driven by higher food and fuel prices, and is expected to ease only gradually in 2012, in part reflecting a moderation in global commodity prices.

Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Monday that the country’s GDP in 2011 was 7 percent, or US$13 billion.