The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Wednesday trimmed its economic growth forecast for Asia and the Pacific amid lingering concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.
In its annual Asian Development Outlook report, the Manila-based bank said economies in developing Asia were now projected to grow 7.1 per cent, down from the forecast of 7.3 per cent in April.
The growth outlook for 2022 was raised to 5.4 per cent from 5.3 per cent, it added.
“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 a ‘new normal’ once the pandemic subsides to kickstart the recovery,” he added.
The bank noted that Covid-19 cases in the developing Asia have risen since the highly contagious Delta variant emerged in April, prompting the reinstatement of various levels of restrictions and lockdowns.
Slow and uneven vaccine rollouts are also weighing down the region’s prospects, the bank said.
Growth forecasts for South Asia, South-East Asia and the Pacific economies have been revised downward, while East Asia’s prospects were unchanged. The outlook for Central Asian economies was raised.