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Asian Economy: Overview, Growth & Development

China’s economic recovery slows in April after q1 boom

China’s economy has slackened in April from the jump seen in the previous month as factory output slowed and retail sales missed analyst expectations, indicating more pressure on the recovery in consumption. Industrial production grew 9.8 percent in April from a year ago, slower than the 14.1 percent surge in March, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data showed on Monday but matching a consensus forecast by analysts from a Reuters poll. China’s gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by a record 18.3 percent in the first quarter and many economists expect growth will exceed 8 percent this year. Some warn that continuing global supply chain disruptions and higher comparison bases will sap momentum in coming quarters. China’s gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by a record 18.3 percent in the first quarter and many economists expect growth will exceed 8 percent this year. Some warn that continuing global supply chain disruptions and higher comparison bases will sap momentum in coming quarters.

Indonesia begins privately run vaccination to boost economy

Indonesia has kicked off its privately run vaccination campaign, with companies including Unilever plc inoculating local employees to help Southeast Asia’s biggest economy reach herd immunity sooner and revive growth. Around 320 workers at a Unilever Indonesia’s plant outside of Jakarta received their first dose of the vaccine made by China’s Sinopharm Group Co, Ira Noviarti, chief executive officer of the local unit, said in a briefing Tuesday. An estimated 10 million workers will receive their shot this way, with more than 22,000 companies registered for the programme, according to chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Rosan Roeslani, who heads the private campaign.

Malaysia’s economic prospects still firm: Moody’s

Moody’s Investors Service expects Malaysia’s growth prospects to remain strong. This is underpinned by the country’s well-developed infrastructure, competitive services and manufacturing sectors, as well as ample natural resources. The resiliency of its growth was also supported by a highly diversified economy, Moody’s said in a report. The firm expects Malaysia’s real gross domestic product (GDP) growth to rebound to 5.0-5.5 percent this year. This will be driven by base effects and the government’s stimulus packages, although movement and activity restrictions because of still high daily coronavirus infections

– albeit less stringent compared to the second quarter of last year – will weigh on the recovery. “The pace of economic recovery will also depend on the rate of immunisation roll-outs and vaccine efficacy both domestically and globally,” it said.

Russia’s economy shrinks 1pc y/y in q1 -preliminary data

Russia’s gross domestic product (GDP) fell 1percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2021, preliminary data showed on Monday, as the lingering impact of the COVID-19 pandemic weighed on the economy. The coronavirus outbreak paralysed business activity and caused the economy to shrink by 3 percent in 2020, prompting the central bank to slash interest rates to a record low 4.25 percent, while a drop in global oil prices dented Russia’s revenues. The figures from the Federal Statistics Service Rosstat showed an improvement on the previous quarter’s 1.8 percent year-on-year GDP drop, signalling that Russia’s economy is still on course for recovery. Transport was the worst affected sector, contracting 34 percent in the first quarter, and the mining, services and retail industries also suffered setbacks, Rosstat said.

Japan’s economy slumps back into decline as covid-19 hits spending

Japan’s economy shrank more than expected in the first quarter as a slow vaccine rollout and new COVID-19 infections hit spending on items such as dining out and clothes, raising concerns the country will lag others emerging from the pandemic. Capital expenditure also fell unexpectedly and export growth slowed sharply, a sign the world’s third-largest economy is struggling for drivers to pull it out of the doldrums. The dismal reading and extended state of emergency curbs have heightened the risk Japan may shrink again in the current quarter and slide back to recession, defined as two straight quarters of recession, some analysts say.

Philippines cuts gdp growth outlook amid tough virus fight

The Philippine government cut its economic outlook for this year and next as it struggles with a surge in coronavirus cases that threatens its recovery. Gross domestic product is now tipped to grow 6 percent to 7 percent this year, down from a previous estimate of 6.5 percent-7.5 percent, according to the Development Budget Coordination Committee, which sets the government’s economic assumptions for budget purposes. The outlook for 2022 was lowered to 7 percent-9 percent growth, from 8 percent-10 percent earlier. Tuesday’s downgrade comes after first-quarter GDP contracted more than expected, cementing the Philippines’ status as one of Asia’s laggards in terms of recovery. Stricter curbs since late March in the capital region and surrounding provinces, the country’s economic backbone, have shuttered businesses and destroyed jobs.

Thai economy shrinks 2.6pc in first quarter

Thailand’s economy shrank in the first quarter, official data showed Monday, as it was battered by coronavirus restrictions that have hit the key tourism sector hard. The kingdom last year suffered its worst full-year performance since the Asian financial crisis of 1997 with a 6.1 percent contraction. The Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) said gross domestic product shrank 2.6 percent on-year in the first three months. The NESDC also gave a cool forecast for the recovery, cutting its 2021 growth outlook to 1.5-2.5 percent, from its previous estimate of 2.5-3.5 percent. With tight travel restrictions already reducing the usual flow of foreign visitors to a trickle, Thailand has been hit by a third coronavirus wave, triggering fresh curbs on economic activity.

Months before the coup, Myanmar army ordered intercept spyware

In the months before the Myanmar military’s February 1 coup, the country’s telecom and internet service providers were ordered to install intercept spyware that would allow the army to eavesdrop on the communications of citizens, sources with direct knowledge of the plan told Reuters. The technology gives the military the power to listen in on calls, view text messages and web traffic including emails, and track the locations of users without the assistance of the telecom and internet firms, the sources said.

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