Growth in Asia is expected to stall at zero percent in 2020: IMF

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says the coronavirus pandemic is likely to bring Asia’s economic growth to a standstill for the first time in 60 years.

“This is a crisis like no other. It is worse than the Global Financial Crisis, and Asia is not immune. While there is huge uncertainty about 2020 growth prospects, and even more so about the 2021 outlook, the impact of the coronavirus on the region will—across the board—be severe and unprecedented,” Changyong Rhee who is a director of the IMF’s Asia and Pacific Department wrote in IMF blog.

“Growth in Asia is expected to stall at zero percent in 2020. This is the worst growth performance in almost 60 years, including during the Global Financial Crisis (4.7 percent) and the Asian Financial Crisis (1.3 percent). That said, Asia still looks to fare better than other regions in terms of activity,” he added.

Rhee also warned that the global economy is expected to contract in 2020 by 3 percent—the worst recession since the Great Depression.

“This is a synchronized contraction, a sudden global shutdown. Asia’s key trading partners are expected to contract sharply, including the United States by 6.0 percent and Europe by 6.6 percent,” he said.

All countries must offer targeted support to hardest-hit households and firms, Rhee says, adding that the crisis requires “a comprehensive and coordinated policy response”.

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