ADB lowers growth outlook for developing Asia as Covid weighs


ADB forecasts growth of 7.1% this year, according to an update of its flagship economic publication, Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2021. That compares with a projection of 7.3% in April.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) lowered its 2021 economic growth outlook for developing Asia, amid continuing concerns over the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

In a statement on Wednesday, ADB forecasts growth of 7.1% this year, according to an update of its flagship economic publication, Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2021. That compares with a projection of 7.3% in April.

However, the growth outlook for 2022 is raised to 5.4% from 5.3%. New Covid-19 variants, renewed local outbreaks, the reinstatement of various levels of restrictions and lockdowns, and slow and uneven vaccine rollouts are weighing down the region’s prospects.

“Developing Asia remains vulnerable to the Covid-19 pandemic, as new variants spark outbreaks, leading to renewed restrictions on mobility in some economies,” said ADB acting chief economist Joseph Zveglich, Jr.

“Policy measures should not only focus on containment and vaccination, but also on continuing support to firms and households and reorienting sectors in the economy to adapt to a ‘new normal’ once the pandemic subsides to kickstart the recovery.”

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