Economy

India’s second COVID-19 wave could put its economic recovery at risk: ADB

Leading financial institution Asian Development Bank warns that while Asia-Pacific is recovering, the surge in India could halt any progress made

 
By Madhumita Paul
Published: Friday 30 April 2021
Bodies of COVID-19 patients being cremated recently at the Bhadbhada crematorium in Bhopal. Photo: Gagan Nair
Bodies of COVID-19 patients being cremated recently at the Bhadbhada crematorium in Bhopal. Photo: Gagan Nair Bodies of COVID-19 patients being cremated recently at the Bhadbhada crematorium in Bhopal. Photo: Gagan Nair

The ongoing ‘second wave’ the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic could put India’s economic recovery at risk, according to a new report by leading financial institution, the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The report said excluding the second wave, India’s economy, was expected to grow 11 per cent in fiscal year 2021, which ends March 31, 2022, amid a strong vaccine drive.

India’s gross domestic product (GDP) was expected to expand 7 per cent in 2022. This year, South Asia’s gross domestic product growth was expected to rebound to 9.5 per cent, the report added.

India was one of the 45 economies across Asia and the Pacific that were assessed by the report, which was released by ADB April 28, 2021.

The Asian Development Outlook 2021, said the 45 economies that excluded Japan, Australia and New Zealand, were to grow 7.3 per cent this year, supported by a healthy global recovery and early progress on COVID-19 vaccines.

“The region’s growth is forecast to moderate to 5.3 per cent in 2022. Excluding high income newly industrialised economies, a growth of 7.7 per cent is forecast for this year and 5.6 per cent for next year,” the report said.

It noted that while growth was forecast to be the strongest in east and south Asia, central and southeast Asia as well as the Pacific were to see more moderate growth.

Rising exports were boosting some economies in Asia, amid strengthening global economic activity, including a rebound in manufacturing, the report said.

China’s GDP was forecast to expand 8.1 per cent in 2021 and 5.5 per cent in 2022. East Asia’s GDP was expected to grow 7.4 per cent in 2021 and 5.1 per cent in 2022, the report said.

Average inflation in the region was forecast to fall to 2.3 per cent in 2021, from 2.8 per cent in 2020, the report said.

The report said that the pandemic was the biggest threat to Asia and the Pacific (including India). This was mainly due to delay in vaccine rollouts or major new outbreaks.

The report can be accessed here.

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