AEIR 2021

Lao People’s Democratic Republic

Real GDP contracted by 0.5% in 2020 after growing by 4.7% in 2019, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Severe border restrictions stifled domestic and external demand. The unemployment rate rose to 23.4% in 2020 from 16.0% in 2018. Services, accounting for 43.6% of GDP, contracted by 5.5% as tourism stopped. Industry (30.8% of GDP) grew by 6.2% due to higher electricity production; construction grew as large infrastructure projects proceeded; and agriculture (15.5% of GDP) grew by 2.1% on improved harvests. Inflation rose to 5.1% from 3.3% in 2019, mostly due to rising food prices. The budget deficit increased to 5.3% of GDP from 3.3% in 2019. Real GDP is expected to grow by 4.0% in 2021 and 4.5% in 2022 on higher agriculture production, sustained power generation, and ongoing large infrastructure projects offsetting the effects of a slow recovery in services.

Source: Asian Development Outlook 2021.
Latest Month-Ago Year-Ago
Composite Stock Price Index 1 557.2 (May21)568.8 616.4
Broad Money Growth 2 17.0 (Dec20)17.0 18.9
Headline Inflation Rate 3 3.2 (Apr21)2.5 5.9
Merchandise Export Growth 3 26.3 (Feb21)26.3 4.3
Exchange Rate Index 4 88.2 (May21)88.1 84.2
1 Monthly average, local index.
2 %.
3 y-o-y, %.
4 Monthly average, January 2006 = 100, $/local currency.
Source: Bloomberg LP; CEIC database.

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