ADB Lowers Asia Growth Forecast Amid Global Downturn

The Asian Development Bank lowered its growth forecast for developing Asia this year and the next year amid on-going challenges such as a sharp decline in global growth, rising inflation and monetary tightening, and a Covid-19 lockdown in China.

The Manila, Philippines-based lender expects developing Asia to grow 4.3 percent, which is slower than the 5.2 percent forecast in April.

Likewise, the ADB lowered the growth projection for next year to 4.9 percent from 5.3 percent, in the latest update to its Asia Development Outlook report.

Multiple headwinds have strengthened since April's Asian Development Outlook.

"Risks to the outlook are skewed to the downside," the ADB report said.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has raised uncertainty, strengthened supply disruptions, and unsettled the energy and food markets, which have increased inflation.

Developing Asia has a lower inflation rate than the rest of the world but price pressures are increasing due to rising energy and food costs, the ADB report said.

Under this scenario, the regional inflation forecast is raised to 4.5 percent for this year and 4.0 percent for next year, the ADB said.

The US Federal Reserve and other central banks are tightening more aggressively, decreasing global demand and rattling financial markets, the ADB report observed.

Besides, growth and supply chains are threatened by recently introduced zero-COVID lockdowns in China.

According to the report, debt and fragility, geopolitical tensions, food insecurity, and climate change will also contribute to Asia's slowing growth.

Excluding China, the rest of developing Asia is projected to grow by 5.3 percent in both 2022 and 2023.

East Asia's growth outlook was revised down to 3.2 percent from 4.7 percent for 2022, thanks to weaker than expected growth in China.

South Asia's growth forecast for this year was downgraded to 6.5 percent from 7.0 percent in the earlier projection and to 6.5 percent from 7.4 percent for 2023.

The downgrades reflect modest downward revisions to India's forecast on higher-than-anticipated inflation and monetary tightening, and Sri Lanka's sharp contraction caused by its sovereign debt and balance-of-payment crises, the ADB said.

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