With the uneven flattening of COVID-19 curves across Asia and globally, it remains to be seen if there is enough momentum for a rebound to be sustained.
Asia will see a dismal year of shrinking output in 2020 under the weight of COVID-19 pandemic. As lockdown restrictions are eased and life gradually moves towards normal, real GDP growth is expected to return to positive across the world.
Based on current conditions, it would be at least 2022 at the earliest for regional economic activities to recover sufficiently and return to the pre-pandemic levels.
Asian economies have generally moved past the worst of the slump in economic activities seen in 1H20, as many governments are loosening gradually and cautiously the stringent COVID-19 lockdown measures. Assuming this tentative recovery is able to hold and not be disrupted by another wave of COVID-19 infections, we expect overall economic growth in Asia to return to positive in 2021. This report explores the impact of COVID-19 in ASEAN through various lenses such as GDP, imports and exports, foreign direct investments and tourism.
Chart 1: Impact of COVID-19 on ASEAN's economy
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