Developing Asia’s Economy to Contract 0.7% in 2020 (ADB)

The Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2020 Update forecasts -0.7% gross domestic product (GDP) growth for developing Asia this year—marking its first negative economic growth since the early 1960s. 

Growth will rally to 6.8% in 2021, in part because growth will be measured relative to a weak 2020. This will still leave next year’s output below pre-COVID-19 projections, suggesting an “L”-shaped rather than a “V”-shaped recovery. About three-quarters of the region’s economies are expected to post negative growth in 2020.

Key Messages

  • Developing Asia will contract by 0.7% this year, its first contraction in six decades. Growth will rebound to 6.8% in 2021.
  • The downturn is broad-based—three-fourths of the region’s economies are expected to contract this year. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) is an important exception.
  • Depressed demand and low oil prices offset supply disruptions, keeping regional inflation at 2.9% in 2020, and trimming it to 2.3% in 2021.

Thailand to contract 8% this year

Thailand’s economy is expected to shrink by 8%, compared to 6.5% in the previous ADB assessment.

Strict quarantines and travel restrictions inflicted brutal second-quarter economic declines in the subregion, requiring steep downgrades to GDP growth forecasts for almost every economy.

The quarter featured double-digit contractions in Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand, all of which are now expected to shrink by or more this year.

“Most economies in the Asia and Pacific region can expect a difficult growth path for the rest of 2020,” said ADB Chief Economist Yasuyuki…

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