ADB Cuts Developing Asia GDP Outlook as Recovery Paths Split

Growth paths in developing Asia continue to diverge, as some nations struggle with waves of infections while those that quickly rolled out vaccines and contained outbreaks gain from stronger global demand, according to the Asian Development Bank, Bloomberg reported. The region’s gross domestic product will expand 7.1% this year, down from 7.3% forecast in April and a turnaround from last year’s 0.1% contraction, the ADB said in its Asian Development Outlook Update. It sees developing Asia’s growth moderating to 5.4% in 2022. “Developing Asia remains vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Joseph Zveglich, acting chief economist at ADB. “New variants spark outbreaks, leading to renewed restrictions on mobility in some economies.” The region’s recovery path is uneven, with East Asia’s exports helped by a surge in global demand, the Manila-based ADB said. Growth projections for China, the region’s largest economy, remain at 8.1% in 2021 and 5.5% next year. This year’s outlooks for Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan were raised, while the forecast for Southeast Asia was lowered to 3.1% from 4.4% amid reduced projections for Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. “The uneven progress of vaccinations is contributing to the divergence of growth paths,” the ADB said. Read more.