Regional Economic Outlook

These reports discuss recent economic developments and prospects for countries in various regions. They also address economic policy developments that have affected economic performance in the regions, and discuss key challenges faced by policymakers. They address regional policy developments and challenges, and provide country-specific data and analysis, including through analytical pieces on issues of interest to a particular region.

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Asia and Pacific Region

Regional Economic Outlook for Asia and Pacific, October 2021

October 19, 2021

Description:

The Asian outlook for 2021 has been downgraded by more than 1 percent to 6.5 percent compared with the April 2021 World Economic Outlook because of new peaks of the pandemic cycle driven by the highly contagious Delta variant. As vaccination rates accelerate, the region is expected to grow slightly faster in 2022 than anticipated earlier. Although Asia and Pacific remains the fastest growing region in the world, the divergence between Asian advanced economies and emerging market and developing economies is deepening, reflecting vaccination coverage and policy support, and medium-term output levels in emerging market and developing economies are expected to remain below pre-pandemic trends. Risks are tilted to the downside, mainly because of uncertain pandemic dynamics, vaccine efficacy against virus variants, supply chain disruptions, and potential global financial spillovers from US monetary normalization in the presence of domestic financial vulnerabilities.

Regional Economic Outlook for Asia and Pacific

April 13, 2021

Description: The Asian economic recovery stands out because of prompt and effective policies during pandemic’s acute phase. The next phase is even more challenging: to lay the foundation for a more inclusive, greener, and resilient region.

Navigating the Pandemic: A Multispeed Recovery in Asia

October 21, 2020

Description: Asia-Pacific has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and is recovering from a severe recession. The outlook varies by country depending on infection rates and containment measures, policy responses, reliance on contact-intensive activities, and external demand. Output is expected to remain below pre-pandemic trends over the medium term, with the most vulnerable in society likely to be hit the hardest. The projections remain highly uncertain, with significant downside risks.

Asia and Pacific Regional Economic Outlook: Caught in Prolonged Uncertainty

October 22, 2019

Description: Headwinds from prolonged global policy uncertainty, distortionary trade measures, and growth deceleration in the economies of important trading partners are influencing economic growth in Asia and the Pacific. Although the region is still the world’s fastest growing major region, contributing more than two-thirds to global growth, near-term prospects have deteriorated noticeably since the April 2019 World Economic Outlook, with risks skewed to the downside.

Regional Economic Outlook: Asia Pacific

October 11, 2018

Description:

Asia has achieved remarkable economic success over the past five decades. Hundreds of millions of people have been lifted out of poverty, and successive waves of economies have made the transition to middle-income and even advanced-economy status. And whereas the region used to be almost entirely dependent on foreign know-how, several of its economies are now on the cutting edge of technological advance. Even more striking, all of this has happened within just a couple of generations, the product of a winning mix of integration with the global economy via trade and foreign direct investment (FDI), high savings rates, large investments in human and physical capital, and sound macroeconomic policies.

Regional Economic Outlook: Asia Pacific

May 9, 2018

Description: The world economy continues to perform well, with strong growth and trade, rising but still muted inflation, and accommodative financial conditions, notwithstanding some increased financial market volatility in early 2018. Driven partly by the procyclical tax stimulus in the United States, near-term economic prospects for both the world and Asia have improved from the alreadyfavorable outlook presented in the October 2017 Regional Economic Outlook Update: Asia and Pacific. Asia is expected to grow by around 5½ percent this year, accounting for nearly two-thirds of global growth, and the region remains the world’s most dynamic by a considerable margin. But despite the strong outlook, policymakers must remain vigilant. While risks around the forecast are broadly balanced for now, they are skewed firmly to the downside over the medium term. Key risks include further market corrections, a shift toward protectionist policies, and an increase in geopolitical tensions. With output gaps closing in much of the region, fiscal policies should focus on ensuring sustainability. Given still moderate wage and price pressures, monetary policies can remain accommodative in most Asian economies for now, but central banks should stand ready to adjust their stances as inflation picks up, and macroprudential policies should be used appropriately to contain credit growth. Many Asian economies face important medium-term challenges, including population aging and declining productivity growth, and will need structural reforms, complemented in some cases by fiscal support. Finally, the global economy is becoming increasingly digitalized, and some of the emerging technologies have the potential to be truly transformative, even as they pose new challenges. Asia is already a leader in many aspects of the digital revolution, but to remain at the cutting edge and reap the full benefits from technological advances, policy responses will be needed in many areas, including information and communication technology, trade, labor markets, and education. 

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