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AlwaysFree: East Asia’s And Pacific Growth Projected At Lowest Since 1967: World Bank


The World Bank said in an economic update on Monday, September 29, that the pandemic is forecasted to lead to more-than-50-years slowest growth in the East Asia and Pacific (EAP), including China.  Approximately 38 million people have been pushed back into poverty.  The bank said the EAP region is forecasted with only 0.9% growth, marking the lowest growth rate since the year of 1967. Growth in China is predicted at 2% in 2020, elevated by strong exports, government spending, and low rate of new Covid-19 positive cases since March. But the growth was suppressed by slow domestic consumption. The remainder of the EAP region is predicted to a 3.5% contraction. 

The pandemic and its contain measurements has led to the significant effect in diminishing economic activity, and these domestic struggles combined with the pandemic-induced global recession, hits economies rely on trade and tourism more severely, including East Asia and Pacific region. As a response to the financial and economic pandemic-impact, and also to mobilize revenue, countries in the region would feel the need to pursue some move in fiscal reform. Social protection programme is essential in cushioning workers while integrating them back into the economy. Well-functioning social protection programs countries and those who have good infrastructure implementation pre-pandemic have been able to rebound more quickly during these times. 

The pandemic economic shock was foreseen to be triggering a jump in poverty, defined as $5.50 a day income or lower, the bank said. Based on the past experiences and the latest GDP projections, poverty could broaden by 33 to 38 million people in the region, marking the first poverty rise in 20 years.  There also 33 million people would escape poverty this year in absence of pandemic, but remain in it. 

Vice president for East Asia and the Pacific at the World Bank, Victoria Kwakwa, said that the region is now encountering an unprecedented set of challenges, but there are ways to soften these tradeoffs by some smart policy options, such as investing in the capability of testing, tracing, and expanding social protection durability to cover the poor and the informal sectors. 

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Published on September 30, 2020 3:13 PM (GMT+8)
Last Updated on October 1, 2020 10:22 AM (GMT+8)