BANGKOK, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- Economic performance in developing Asia-Pacific countries is expected to improve moderately in 2014, but growth will remain subpar, said the latest United Nations macroeconomic projections released on Thursday.
Asia-Pacific developing economies are forecast to grow 5.6 percent in 2014, up from 5.2 percent this year, said the Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific 2013: Year-end Update, which is published by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
Early this year, the ESCAP projected a 6.0 percent growth for 2013.
The 2012-2014 period marks the first time in at least two decades that developing Asia-Pacific economies are growing at less than 6 percent annually, averaging 5.4 percent compared to 8.4 percent during the pre-crisis 2002-2007 period, the report disclosed.
The region will be impacted by slow recovery, policy uncertainty and protectionism in developed economies, as well as domestic structural impediments like growing economic and social inequality, according to the report.
"The economies of Asia and the Pacific are at a turning point. The manner in which the current transition is managed will have a long-term impact on the region's inclusive and sustainable development path," said Dr. Noeleen Heyzer, UN under-secretary- general and ESCAP executive secretary, at the report launch.
The key economies of China, India and Indonesia with large domestic markets have grown moderately in 2013 after recent years of strong performance, though China's economy is growing relatively fast at 7.5 percent in 2013, the report said.
Expected major monetary policy developments in the United States could also affect growth in the region, according to the report.
ESCAP estimates show that a cutback in quantitative easing by the U.S. Federal Reserve, known as "tapering," could slash GDP levels in Malaysia, the Philippines, Russia and Thailand by up to 1.2 percent-1.3 percent in 2014.
"Asia-Pacific developing economies face the prospect of a 'new normal' of lower growth in the coming years, underlining the need for forward-looking macroeconomic policies and intra-regional cooperation," said Anisuzzaman Chowdhury, ESCAP's director of Macroeconomic Policy and Development Division.
The report reiterated the need for productive public spending to promote inclusive and sustainable development, targeting the majority rural population in the region with an estimated 762 million people dependent on agriculture for a livelihood.