MANILA – The Asean+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) has slashed its 2020 and 2021 growth projections for the region, citing the severe impact of the pandemic but expects strong rebound next year due to containment measures.
In a report Thursday, AMRO now projects a -0.3 percent contraction for the Asean+3 this year, a change from the zero-percent growth forecast last August.
For next year, the projection was changed from a recovery of 6 percent to a faster print of 6.7 percent.
Asean+3 includes the 10-member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam plus China, including Hong Kong, China; Japan, and Korea.
For Asean alone, the latest projection is -3.3 percent from -2.6 while the forecast for next year was revised to 6-percent expansion from 5.7-percent growth previously.
AMRO said the region has been severely affected by containment measures.
“Nine of our 14 members are expected to contract this year, some very significantly,” it added.
Economies that are projected to contract this year are Hong Kong, China, -7.5 percent; Japan, -5.9 percent; Korea, -1.9 percent; Cambodia, -4.5 percent; Indonesia, -1.7 percent; Malaysia, -5.5 percent; Philippines, -7.6 percent; Singapore, -6 percent; and Thailand, -7.8 percent.
The regional macroeconomic surveillance organization, however, expects “a strong V-shaped recovery in GDP (gross domestic product) growth in 2021, particularly for the Plus-3.”
“The region as a whole is projected to expand at 6.7 percent, with all economies forecast to return to positive growth —predicated on the effective containment of the pandemic, both regionally and globally, and on the assumption that exits from policy measures proceed smoothly,” the report said.
For next year, China is projected to grow by 8.1 percent; Hong Kong, 4.5 percent; Japan, 2.9 percent; and Korea, 3 percent.Brunei is forecast to expand by 3.1 percent; Cambodia, 5.4 percent; Indonesia, 5.1 percent; Lao PDR, 4.6 percent; and Malaysia, 9 percent.
Also, Myanmar’s economy is seen to rise by 6.2 percent; Philippines, 6.6 percent; Singapore, 7.5 percent; Thailand, 4.6 percent; and Vietnam, 7 percent. (PNA)