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Asian Economy: Overview, Growth & Development

China’s economy roars ahead as engine for global growth

China’s economic indicators for the first quarter of 2021 have been released. At an annualized rate, the economy grew 18.3percent from January through to April, facilitating a complete economic recovery as the world deals with the disruption of COVID-19, and consumption reasserts itself, registering the highest tally since 1993. In line with the GDP figures, industrial output increased 24.5 percent from last year, exports by 38.7 percent, imports 29.2 percent, retail sales of consumer goods 33.9 percent, and fixed-asset investment by 25.6 percent, all positive indicators showing a healthy and resilient economy, which is forecast to end the year up around 8.4 percent as a whole. The impressive resurgence of China’s economy is the product of a stable internal environment facilitated by rapid and sustained containment of the COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain resilience and other matching rebound of other major economies.

Care ratings revises India’s GDP growth forecast to 10.2pc for fy22

With economic activities getting affected across the country due to curbs imposed by states amid surge in COVID-19 cases, Care Ratings has revised down its forecast for GDP growth to 10.2 percent in 2021-22 from earlier projection of 10.7-10.9 percent. This is the third revision by the rating agency in the last one month. We have revised our forecast for GDP growth for FY22 as the underlying conditions have changed rapidly in the last 30 days or so. It stands now at 10.2 percent, Care Ratings said in a report. On March 24, 2021, the agency had projected GDP growth between 11-11.2 percent based on GVA (gross value added) growth of 10.2 percent. The spread of the virus in Maharashtra had led to the announcement of a “lockdown” by the state government which began in a less stringent manner from the first week of April, it said. Factoring the potential loss of economic output due to the restrictions in the state, the agency, on April 5, lowered its GDP forecast for the current fiscal year to 10.7-10.9 percent.

Microsoft announces Bersama Malaysia initiative to support economic growth within the country

As part of the plan, Microsoft will establish its first data centre region in the country to deliver trusted cloud services locally, with world-class data security, privacy, and the ability to store data in-country. Microsoft also announced plans to skill an additional 1 million Malaysians by end of 2023 to help create economic opportunities for people and businesses in the digital era. Finally, Microsoft will help form the MyDigital Alliance Leadership Council to collaborate on cloud-first and digital-native policy recommendations. Microsoft’s recent announcement represents a significant milestone in Microsoft’s 28-year history in the country and supports the Government of Malaysia’s MyDigital goals to transform the country into a regional leader in the digital economy.

Indonesia navy searching for submarine with 53 aboard

Indonesia’s military said it was searching for a submarine with 53 crew aboard after losing contact with the vessel during naval exercises off the coast of Bali on Wednesday.

The German-built KRI Nanggala 402 was scheduled to do live torpedo exercises when it asked for permission to dive early Wednesday morning, authorities said.

“After permission was given according to the procedure, the submarine lost contact and could not be reached,” the defence ministry said. A helicopter looking for the missing vessel spotted an oil spill in waters where the submarine was thought to have submerged, it added. The navy dispatched warships off the northern coast of the holiday island to search for it, while other countries in the region have been asked for help. The navy sent out an international distress signal, and “several countries have responded and are ready to help including Singapore, Australia and India,” the ministry said.

Bangladesh economy shows early signs of recovery amid uncertainties

Bangladesh’s economy is showing nascent signs of recovery backed by a rebound in exports, strong remittance inflows, and the ongoing vaccination program, says a new World Bank report, “Bangladesh Development Update- Moving Forward: Connectivity and Logistics to strengthen Competitiveness,” launched.

After being severely affected by the COVID 19 pandemic—which slowed growth and for the first time in two decades reversed the poverty reduction trend—the economy is recovering gradually.

Over the first half of FY21, factories reopened and exports rebounded. However, the economy faces elevated risks in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Putin’s response to new round of U.S. sanctions is more economic isolation

Russian President Vladimir Putin is likely to respond to the latest round of U.S. sanctions threats as he has to past ones: by speeding his drive to make Russia’s economy more self-sufficient.

In the seven years since Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Putin’s government and central bank have stripped back the country’s exposure to dollars, shifted assets out of the U.S. and sold a smaller share of its debt to foreigners.

Japan raises business spending view, sees weakness in economy – report

Japan raised its view on capital spending for the third time this year in its economic report for April, while it retained its assessment that overall economic conditions were showing weakness from the coronavirus pandemic.

Authorities also warned attention should be paid to the downside risk a coronavirus resurgence at home and abroad poses to the economic outlook, which is threatening to leave its mark on the world’s third-largest economy longer.

The government is expected to issue a third state of emergency on Tokyo and three western prefectures this week, underscoring their struggle to deal with a surge in new COVID-19 cases.

Thai economy may lose $3.2 bln a month after new virus outbreak

Thailand’s economy could lose 100 billion baht ($3.19 billion) a month, mainly in the service sector, a university said on Thursday, as the tourism-reliant nation deals with a third COVID-19 wave and a highly contagious variant.

The new outbreak, which has seen over 18,000 cases in just 22 days, might reduce the number of workers by 149,000 a month, the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce said.

The university expects the new wave to be controlled within two or three months like the previous outbreaks, cutting gross domestic product (GDP) by 1.2 percent to 1.8 percent, university president Thanavath Phonvichai told a briefing.

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