ADB sees slowdown for developing Asia-Pacific

Coronavirus could cost the global economy $4.1 trillion - Asian Development Bank warns

‘Worst pandemic in century’ will wipe out more than $4 TRILLION from global economy – Asian Development Bank

The global economy will see a much bigger hit from the coronavirus pandemic than previously expected, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has warned in its annual report.

In its Asian Development Outlook, the bank predicted that India's Gross Domestic Product growth will slow down before it strengthens to 6.2% in 2021. This would be slower than the 5.9% recorded in 2019 and way below than the official target of 6.5-7.5%.

China's economy is forecast to expand 2.3 percent, down 3.8 points.

The ADB projects 2.2 percent growth for the region excluding developed economies such as Japan and Australia.

The ADB's projections assume that the outbreak will be contained by June.

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Vietnam is expected to outperform with 4.8% growth in 2020, before surging to 6.8% in 2021. The government is also working on a fiscal stimulus to jump-start the economy apart from providing support to the healthcare and industrial sectors, economic affairs secretary Atanu Chakraborty hinted on Tuesday.

While the higher forecast reflects the spread of the infection to Europe, the United States, and other major economies, on the low end, the global cost could be $2 trillion if demand shocks are smaller and containment periods shorten, it says.

The economy also saw support from the fiscal side as funding packages were released for the fight against COVID-19 pandemic. ADB said the enhanced community quarantine, which has been followed by other provinces and cities, would "weigh heavily on domestic demand". Developing Asia will weaken tremendously due to the pandemic, considering the region's deep integration with the global economy through tourism, trade, and remittances, it said, adding that plummeting commodity prices are also placing a severe burden on some countries.

Central Asia, home to oil-producers such as Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, will grow 2.8% in 2020 before expanding by 4.2% next year amid lower global commodity prices. The current account deficit is expected to settle at 0.3% of GDP, before widening to 1.4% next year.

"ADB's preliminary estimates indicate that about 0.2% to 0.4% of Bangladesh GDP may be lost due to spillover effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic".

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"The impact on the economy will be larger than now assumed if the global outbreak is prolonged beyond the first half, or if there is a sustained local transmission in the Philippines", it added.

The entire Luzon, including the country's main economic hub Metro Manila, has been placed under a month-long lockdown in a bid to contain the spread of the disease.

The Manila-based bank said a shorter containment period could pare the losses to $2 trillion.

At the same time, the multilateral lending agency in its flagship publication Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2020 said that India will stage a strong recovery in the next financial year on the back of its sound macroeconomic fundamentals. With some businesses shuttering or losing sales, millions are losing their jobs, throwing the world economy into chaos.

South Korea plans to submit a second extra budget worth 7.1 trillion won (US$5.77 billion) to the National Assembly for approval this month as part of efforts to revitalize local spending and minimize the economic fallout from the virus outbreak.

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Growth in south Asia's largest economy, India, is forecast to remain subdued after a sharp slowdown in 2019, with expansion for fiscal year 2020 seen slowing further to 4.0%, before strengthening to 6.2% in fiscal 2021, the ADB said.

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