MANILA - The Asian Development Bank on Tuesday lowered its economic forecast for developing Asia due to the "renewed" COVID-19 outbreaks and sluggish recovery in several nations.
In a statement, the ADB said its economic growth projection for entire developing Asia for the year was slightly lowered to 7.2 percent from 7.3 percent.
For 2022, the region is expected to grow faster at 5.4 percent from its original forecast of 5.3 percent.
Daily confirmed cases in the region peaked at about 434,000 in mid-May, which narrowed to about 109,000 by end June, the lender said.
The ADB also noted that the vaccination program in the region lags behind that of the United States and the European Union.
“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,” said ADB Chief Economist Yasuyuki Sawada.
“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," he added.
Projections for East Asia and Central Asia were raised to 7.5 percent from 7.4 percent and 3.6 percent from 3.4 percent, respectively, ADB said.
For South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific, outlook are lowered due to outbreaks and the resulting containment measures which are "hampering economic activity," the ADB said.
The ADB said South Asia could grow 8.9 percent from 9.5 percent while Southeast Asia's revised outlook for the year is at 4 percent from 4.4 percent.
For the Philippines, which recently confirmed the entry of the more transmissible COVID-19 delta variant, the projection was kept at 4.5 percent.
The Philippines' economic managers on Monday kept the country's economic growth forecast of 6 to 7 percent. The gross domestic product contracted by 9.6 percent in 2020, its worst since the end of World War 2.