Philippines’ virus losses to breach 10% of GDP


MANILA: Covid-19’s impact on economies will spill over to next year such that the pandemic-induced economic losses in the Philippines would exceed 10% of gross domestic product (GDP) both in 2020 and 2021, especially due to a slow recovery in consumer confidence, according to the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The Manila-based multilateral lender’s chief economist, Yasuyuki Sawada, told the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) annual conference on Tuesday that across developing Asia, economic losses were estimated to breach 9% of GDP this year, citing the estimates of a forthcoming ADB report titled “The Impact of Covid-19 on Developing Asia: The Pandemic Extends into 2021.”

Both this year and in 2021, the Covid-19 crisis will most badly hit tourism-dependent countries while also inflicting massive losses on the services sector, Sawada said.

In the case of the Philippines, Sawada’s presentation showed that the pandemic would cut off more than 10% of GDP in 2020, with the biggest reduction to be wrought by domestic demand decline.

In South-East Asia, Cambodia and Thailand will have bigger reductions in GDP this year on the back of the slump in global tourism as international borders mostly remained closed to avoid the virus from further spreading.

Next year, the ADB’s estimates showed that the Philippines’ GDP would suffer from a 10% reduction, still due to weak domestic demand. — Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN

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