The World Bank predicts slower economic growth for developing countries in the East Asia and Pacific region due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A report released by the bank Tuesday said that while China’s economy is forecast to grow 8.5 percent in 2021, the rest of the region will only grow 2.5 percent, down from the World Bank’s forecast of 4.4 percent in 2016. last April.
Manuela Ferro, the World Bank’s vice president for the East Asia and Pacific region, said the region’s economic recovery from the pandemic was “facing a turn of fortune.”
According to the report, the continued outbreak of COVID-19 is likely to disrupt growth and increase inequality across the region.
The World Bank urges governments in the region to step up testing and tracking efforts to stem the spread of the virus, increase vaccine production in the region and strengthen their respective health systems.
The Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) issued a separate report last week predicting the economies of developing countries in the region are likely to grow at a slower pace than expected in 2021 as the COVID-19 outbreak continues and efforts slow vaccination.
ADB also predicts that the economy in Southeast Asia will grow only 3.1 percent this year. The bank also predicts a 4.4 percent growth in its economic outlook issued last April. [uh/lt]