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Gross Expenditure on Research and Development

The accommodative monetary stances of central banks in many countries in the region persist, anchored on benign inflation, even though recent data indicate some manifestations of renewed price pressures. Headline inflation still diverges across Emerging Asia. Inflation firmed up in most of the big ASEAN economies, driven by the marked rise in food and transport sub-indices. CPI growth in China is on a very gradual rise, owing to increases in housing and health care costs. Headline inflation in India is increasing gradually supported by movements in fuel, clothing and housing prices. In contrast, headline inflation has waned in the CLM countries. • The external positions of Emerging Asia have remained generally robust. The recovery of exports and of imports have had contradictory impacts on current account (CA) balances. Net FDI inflows to Emerging Asia have stayed largely on the uptrend in recent years. Factors that have kept investors interested in the region include improvement in trade prospects, announced big-ticket infrastructure projects, the resilience of domestic demand and the aggressive drive of some governments to develop industries related to information technology and e-commerce through investment incentives. • Fiscal policy in Emerging Asia has been largely expansionary this year. A widening gap may be a concern in some economies, but fiscal positions are generally stable. In the near term, many large ASEAN countries plan to increase spending, especially 1. Macroeconomic assessments and economic outlook for Emerging Asia 46 ECONOMIC OUTLOOK FOR SOUTHEAST ASIA, CHINA AND INDIA 2018: FOSTERING GROWTH THROUGH DIGITALISATION © OECD 2018 ECONOMIC OUTLOOK FOR SOUTHEAST ASIA, CHINA AND INDIA 2018: FOSTERING GROWTH THROUGH DIGITALISATION © OECD 2018 47 on infrastructure. China is maintaining a stable footing despite stronger spending of late. This may not be the case for India, Lao PDR and Viet Nam, which are trying to contain concerns related to budget deficits and poor performance of financial institutions