ADB cuts developing Asia growth projection on China slowdown

The Asian Development Bank trimmed its economic growth forecast for developing Asia on Wednesday, with China’s pandemic lockdowns, slowing global demand and the Russian invasion of Ukraine seen as limiting the region’s prospects.

The Philippines-based lender cut its 2022 forecast to 4.2 percent, down marginally from a 4.3 percent projection made in September.

Prospects for 2023 also grew dimmer, it said in a report, which lowered the region’s growth forecast to 4.6 percent from 4.9 percent.

“Recovery in developing Asia is expected to continue but lose some steam,” the ADB said, referring to the 46 developing member economies that as a whole grew 7.0 percent last year.

Chinese lockdowns, the Ukraine war and slowing demand from developed economies for manufactured goods were the main causes, it said.

“Multiple risks abound as the three main headwinds could worsen, along with geopolitical risks and climate change,” it added.

Surging consumer prices in the United States and other advanced economies could prompt central banks to further tighten interest rates, while the Ukraine conflict could further stoke inflation, it added.

With its tough Covid restrictions and unstable property market, China, Asia’s largest economy, is now forecast to grow 3.0 percent this year and 4.3 percent in 2023, compared with 3.3 and 4.5 percent, respectively, in the bank’s September forecasts.

This assumes a gradual easing of the country’s zero-Covid policy.

Beijing announced last week a nationwide loosening of its coronavirus restrictions, allowing home quarantine for confirmed cases and ending large-scale lockdowns.

On a positive note, developing Asia will grow faster this year and next than the rest of the world, while suffering the least from spiking inflation, the report said.

The bank revised downward its inflation forecast for the region to 4.4 this year from 4.5 percent in its September report but upgraded it for 2023 to 4.2 percent from 4.0 percent. — Agence France-Presse

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