Vietnam growth among Asia’s highest despite Covid-19 slump: ADB

04 Avril, 2020, 01:42 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Coronavirus could cost the global economy $4.1 trillion - Asian Development Bank warns

Economic growth in Pakistan is expected to slow to 2.6% this year due to ongoing stabilization efforts, slower growth in agriculture and the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, before recovering to 3.2% in 2021 according to the Asian Development Bank's (ADB) latest annual flagship economic publication, Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2020.

The ADB said the longer containment scenario assumes that outbound tourism from China drops by 55% for six months, travel bans continue to be imposed, inbound tourism is still affected, growth of domestic consumption falls by five percentage points and growth in local investments declines by 6.25%. After growing 4.4% last year, Southeast Asia is predicted to expand by 1.0% this year, before recovering to 4.7% next year.

Excluding the newly industrialised economies of Hong Kong, China; the Republic of Korea; Singapore; and Taipei, China, developing Asia is forecast to grow 2.4% this year, compared to 5.7% in 2019, before rebounding to 6.7% next year.

"No one can say how widely the COVID-19 pandemic may spread, and containment may take longer than now projected", ADB Chief Economist Yasuyuki Sawada said in the bank's widely followed economic publication Asian Development Outlook. It is poised for a recovery to 7.3% next year.

However, there is still the potential for additional outbreaks and the severity of the pandemic remains uncertain.

Mr Sawada said Indian authorities have acted swiftly to shore up the economy hit by the pandemic.

Durrani-Jamal said Cambodia's focus should be on Covid-19 containment, without which the recovery of the tourism and services sectors will be hard.

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Vietnam is expected to outperform with 4.8% growth in 2020, before surging to 6.8% in 2021.

"GDP growth in the Philippines will decelerate to 2.0% this year, even as the impact of COVID-19 and the global slowdown are partly offset by government expansionary policies that will help lift growth to 6.5% in 2021", the report read. "Were the virus to spread widely within India, economic activity would be severely constrained", the bank said. The current account deficit is expected to settle at 0.3% of GDP, before widening to 1.4% next year.

The agency said that recapitalisation of state-owned banks and financial sector reform to revive credit will help alleviate much of the financial sector stress.

The crisis has sent equity markets spinning as traders fret over the long-term impact on the world economy, though governments and central banks have stepped in to ease the pain, pledging more than US$5 trillion in stimulus and easing monetary policy.

Region-wise, South Asia will face a milder slowdown, it stated. Developing Asia, including China, accounts for as much as 36% of the pandemic's total cost, it said. The global cost of the pandemic could range from $2.0 trillion to $4.1 trillion, equivalent to a loss of between 2.3% to 4.8% of global gross domestic product.

"Inflation is projected to accelerate to 11.5% in FY2020, reflecting a sharp rise in food prices in the first part of the fiscal year and a 9.8% drop in the value of the local currency against the United States dollar in the first 7 months of FY2020", said a press release issued by ADB.

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