ADB speculates Asia likely to hit weakest-ever growth rate in last six decades

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on June 18, 2020

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) maintained on Thursday that Asia will likely clock up its weakest-ever growth in the last six decades this year pertaining to the economic crisis brought by the pandemic, as per a Reuters report.

Developing Asia, a group of 45 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, is expected to project growth of just 0.1per cent in 2020, the ADB said in a supplement to its Asian Development Outlook report issued in April, the slowest pace since 1961. The bank also said that the growth will increase next year to 6.2 per cent.

The revised speculations brought down the growth rate which was predicted to be 2.2 per cent in April 2020.

“Economies in Asia and the Pacific will continue to feel the blow of the COVID-19 pandemic this year even as lockdowns are slowly eased and select economic activities restart in a ‘new normal’ scenario,” ADB Chief Economist Yasuyuki Sawada said in a statement.

“While we see a higher growth outlook for the region in 2021, this is mainly due to weak numbers this year, and this will not be a V-shaped recovery,” Sawada said. He also laid emphasis on the need for governments to undertake measures to cushion the economic blow of the pandemic and contain succeeding flare-ups of the infection.

ADB’s outlook for China this year also turned grimmer. It now expects growth in the world’s second-largest economy to slow to 1.8 per cent from an earlier forecast of 2.3 per cent. ADB said this was further pushed by the escalation of tension between US-China that has impacted the trade.

Citing depressed demand and lower oil prices, the ADB said inflation for developing Asia will ease to 2.9 per cent for 2020, down from its 3.2 per cent forecast in April, and slow further to 2.4 per cent in 2021, Reuters report added.

Published on June 18, 2020

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