East Asia, Pacific growth to rebound to 7.7% in 2021 – World Bank

Author: Nurluqman Suratman

2021/06/09

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Economic growth in the east Asia and Pacific region is projected to strengthen to 7.7% in 2021 from 1.2% last year, primarily reflecting the strong rebound in China, the World Bank said late on Tuesday.

Growth in China is projected to pick up to 8.5% this year, up by 0.6 percentage point from a previous projection, supported by buoyant exports and the relief of pent-up demand amid effective control of the coronavirus outbreak.

China's economy expanded by 2.3% in 2020.

Growth in China is projected to moderate to 5.4% in 2022, "reflecting diminishing fiscal and monetary support and tighter property and macroprudential regulations", the World Bank said in a report.

Output in the rest of the East Asia and Pacific region is projected to grow 4.0% in 2021 in the face of continued pandemic-related headwinds and delayed recovery of tourism and travel.

Output in two-thirds of the region’s economies is expected to remain below pre-pandemic levels until 2022.

"Regional growth has bounced back from 2020, but the speed of recovery has differed among countries. Among the three largest economies, China, Indonesia, and Thailand, only China has seen its output surpass pre-pandemic levels," the World Bank said.

The current pace of vaccinations could make it difficult to achieve widespread vaccination in many countries in Asia for some time, the World Bank said.

"The adverse impacts of the pandemic could persist in the region for a considerable period, contributing to subdued investment and an erosion of human capital," it said.

The global economy is expected to expand 5.6% in 2021, the fastest post-recession pace in 80 years, largely on strong rebounds from a few major economies.

Despite the recovery, global output will be about 2% below pre-pandemic projections by 2022.

"At current trends, global trade growth is set to slow down over the next decade,” World Bank Group vice president for equitable growth and financial institutions Indermit Gill said.

“As developing economies recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, cutting trade costs can create an environment conducive to re-engaging in global supply chains and reigniting trade growth," Gill said.

Photo: A man works in Cherry Wanda autonomous driving bus base assembly line in Guiyang, China. (Source: ALEX PLAVEVSKI/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

Focus article by Nurluqman Suratman