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S&P Forecasts COVID-19 Will Cost Asia-Pacific $620 Billion

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Standard & Poor’s (S&P) has estimated that the Asia-Pacific region’s total and permanent income loss caused by COVID-19 will amount to $620 billion.

The ratings agency has revised the GDP forecasts for countries across the Asia-Pacific, but emphasised that “all forecasts remain subject to much higher-than-normal uncertainty”.

Australia GDP growth rate for the year is expected to fall to 0.4% in 2020, from 1.8% in 2019. For now, however, S&P has estimated Australia’s growth rate will return to 4.4% in 2021.

S&P GDP forecast for Australia as of March 2020

S&P stated, “We now expect China’s GDP growth rate to slow to 2.9% in 2020. Economies will contract in Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and a newly deflationary Japan.”

As a whole, the Asia-Pacific’s GDP growth rate is expected to average 2.9% in 2020.

India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam are expected to be the region’s strongest players in 2020, with all of these countries predicted to witness GDP growth of over 4%.

In terms of unemployment, S&P expects Australia’s rate to rise to 6.1% in 2020, up from 5.2% in 2019. Inflation, meanwhile, is set to fall to 1.3% in 2020, from 1.6% last year.

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