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Asia sees first regional recession in 60 years

September 16, 2020 8:26 am
[Source: BBC]

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) says the COVID-19 pandemic has pulled the region’s developing economies into recession.

It is the first time in six decades that “developing Asia” – a designation that includes 45 countries – has seen a regional slump.

The ADB says developing Asia’s economy will shrink by 0.7% in 2020.

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But the region is expected to rebound strongly in 2021, growing by 6.8% next year.

The bank’s Asian Development Outlook Update shows about three-quarters of the region’s economies are forecast to slump this year.

It revises down its earlier projection of a paltry 0.1% growth in the region’s gross domestic product (GDP) for 2020.

The ADB’s assessment brings the lender into line with the International Monetary Fund, which made a similar prediction earlier this year.

South Asia is likely to be the worst affected, while China is bucking the trend.

India’s economy is expected to contract 9% this year, while China’s growth is forecast at 1.8 percent.

Southeast Asia is likely to see a drop of 3.8%.

Tourism-dependent island economies, in particular, have seen wrenching economic contractions.

Fiji’s economy is expected to shrink by 19.5%, while the Maldives is likely to see a 20.5% contraction.

The good news is that the region is expected to recover next year, with growth of 6.8%.

China’s economy is expected to rebound by 7.7% in 2021, while India will also bounce back with 8% growth next year, the ADB says.

But the bank warns that a recovery could be derailed by a prolonged pandemic and tougher containment measures.

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