The Institute said growth in the region is forecast to come in at 4.9 percent from 5.3 percent last year, as a result of moderate export growth across the region from the sharp acceleration last year.

Unlike the US and Europe, Asia had a promising start this year, with Southeast Asia economies expanding 5.2 percent year-on-year, slightly softer than the 5.3 percent in the previous quarter.

In Vietnam, economic growth eased back in the first quarter, to 7.4 percent year-on-year, following a stellar end to last year.

However, the quarterly result was still the strongest Q1 outcome in a decade driven by ongoing strength in the manufacturing sector, solid service sector activity and improving agriculture output./.