Pandemic to keep Asia’s growth at lowest since 1967, warns World Bank

The coronavirus pandemic is expected to lead to the slowest growth in more than 50 years in East Asia and the Pacific as well as China, the World Bank said.

The bank said the region this year is projected to grow by only 0.9%, the lowest rate since 1967.

Growth in China was expected to come in at 2% this year, boosted by government spending, strong exports and a low rate of new coronavirus infections since March, but held back by slow domestic consumption.

The rest of the East Asia and Pacific region was projected to see a 3.5% contraction, the World Bank said.

The pandemic and efforts to contain its spread led to a “significant curtailment” of economic activity, the report said.

“These domestic difficulties were compounded by the pandemic-induced global recession, which hit EAP [East Asia and Pacific] economies that rely on trade and tourism hard,” it said.

Countries in the region may need to pursue fiscal reform to mobilize revenue in response to the economic and financial impact from the pandemic, while social protection programs can help support workers’ integration back into the economy, the Washington, DC-based bank said.

“Countries with well-functioning social protection programs, and good implementation infrastructure, pre-COVID, have been able to scale up more quickly during the pandemic,” it said.

Source: www.thejakartapost.com