Sun, 01 Aug 2021

MANILA, July 20 (Xinhua) -- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said on Tuesday that it has lowered the economic growth outlook for developing Asia this year to 7.2 percent from 7.3 percent forecast in April, as renewed COVID-19 outbreaks slow the recovery in some economies in the region.

The Manila-based bank, however, lifted its growth outlook for 2022 to 5.4 percent from 5.3 percent.

The supplement to ADB's flagship economic publication, Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2021, released Tuesday, provides updated projections for the region's economies and inflation levels amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Asia and the Pacific's recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic continues, although the path remains precarious amid renewed outbreaks, new virus variants, and an uneven vaccine rollout," ADB Chief Economist Yasuyuki Sawada said in a statement.

"On top of containment and vaccination measures, phased and strategic rejuvenation of economic activities, for instance, trade, manufacturing, and tourism, will be key to ensure that the recovery is green, inclusive, and resilient," Sawada added.

The ADB said the COVID-19 pandemic remains the biggest risk to the outlook as outbreaks continue in many economies.

Meanwhile, the report said that the vaccine rollout in the region is gaining pace, with 41.6 doses administered per 100 people by the end of June, above the global average of 39.2.

The ADB raised growth outlook for East Asia for 2021 to 7.5 percent, from 7.4 percent in April, amid a stronger-than-expected recovery of China's Hong Kong, South Korea, and China's Taiwan. The subregional growth forecast for 2022 is retained at 5.1 percent.

The growth outlook for China is likewise maintained at 8.1 percent this year and 5.5 percent in 2022, amid steady performances by industry, exports and services.

This year's growth outlook for Central Asia has been raised to 3.6 percent, from 3.4 percent in the April forecast mainly due to an improved outlook for Armenia, Georgia and Kazakhstan. Central Asia's outlook for 2022 remains at 4.0 percent.

Projections for South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific for 2021 are lowered as renewed outbreaks are met with containment measures and restrictions, hampering economic activities.

South Asia's growth outlook for 2021 is lowered to 8.9 percent from 9.5 percent. Southeast Asia's 2021 outlook is revised to 4.0 percent from 4.4 percent, while the projection for Pacific economies is lowered to 0.3 percent from 1.4 percent.

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