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IMF Warns Asia Won't See Economic Growth For The First Time Since 1960s

IMF Warns Asia Won't See Economic Growth For The First Time Since 1960s

The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday forecasted that Asia wouldn't see any economic growth in the financial year 2020.

What Happened

The global monetary cooperation organization said that Asia "is not immune" from the financial impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Instead, it would suffer the double effect of both a global slowdown and a China-specific slowdown.

The IMF noted that the global economy is expected to contract 3% in 2020, in what would be the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Some of Asia's key trading partners, including the United States and the European Union, will see the worst slowdown, according to the IMF, impacting the regional economies, in addition to the impact of their local lockdowns imposed to curb the spread of the virus.

China, which grew at a massive 9.4% during the 2008 financial crisis, is expected to see a gross domestic product growth of 1.2% in 2020. The region's largest economy will also not be able to boost the other Asian economies, as it could during 2008.

Nevertheless, Asia is expected to "rebound strongly" in 2021, if the spread of the virus is mostly curbed by the end of this year, the IMF said.

According to the organization, the policymakers have to prioritize supporting and protecting the health sector and stop the coronavirus spread, ahead of planning to reopen economies.

To reduce the impact on financial markets, the IMF recommends that policymakers provide "ample liquidity, ease the financial stress of industries and small and medium-sized [enterprises.]"

Asian Markets

Asian stocks traded mixed after the IMF report on Thursday.

China's Shanghai Composite was up 03% at $2,818.20, while Shenzhen Component closed 0.5% higher at 10,463.70.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closed 0.65% lower at $23,989.42.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index closed 1.3% lower at 19,290.20; South Korea's KOSPI was up 0.1% at 1,858.14.

India's SENSEX was up 0.9% at press time at 30,650.66, and NIFTY 50 traded 0.9% higher at 9,004.00.


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