The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is projecting 7.2% economic growth for developing Asia this year, compared with its 7.3% forecast in April, as renewed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreaks slow the recovery in some economies in the region.  The growth outlook for 2022 is upgraded to 5.4% from 5.3%.

ADB is adjusting its 2021 growth outlook for developing Asia as renewed COVID-19 outbreaks, new virus variants, and an uneven vaccine rollout slow the recovery in some economies in the region.

The Asian Development Outlook Supplement, July 2021 notes that excluding the newly industrialized economies of Hong Kong, China; the Republic of Korea; Singapore; and Taipei, China, developing Asia’s updated growth outlook is 7.5% for 2021 and 5.7% for 2022, compared with earlier projections of 7.7% and 5.6%, respectively.

The supplement to ADB’s flagship economic publication, Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2021, provides updated projections for the region’s economies and inflation levels amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic reportedly remains the biggest risk to the outlook, as outbreaks continue in many economies. 

East Asia’s growth outlook for 2021 is raised to 7.5%, from 7.4% in April, amid a stronger-than-expected recovery by the newly industrialized economies of Hong Kong, China; the Republic of Korea; and Taipei, China.  The subregional growth forecast for 2022 is retained at 5.1%. The growth outlook for China is likewise maintained at 8.1% this year and 5.5% in 2022, amid steady performances by industry, exports, and services.

This year’s growth outlook for Central Asia has been raised to 3.6%, from 3.4% in the April forecast. This is mainly due to an improved outlook for Armenia, Georgia, and Kazakhstan—the subregion’s largest economy.

Central Asia’s outlook for 2022 remains at 4.0%.

The growth outlook for Tajikistan is maintained at 5.0% this year and 5.5% in 2022.  Tajikistan’s inflation rates are forecasted at 9.0 percent this year and 8.0 percent in 2022.  Per capita GDP growth for Tajikistan is expected at 2.9 percent in 2021 and 3.4 percent in 2022.   

Projections for South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific for 2021 are lowered as renewed outbreaks are met with containment measures and restrictions, hampering economic activity. 

The inflation forecast for Asia and the Pacific this year is raised to 2.4%, from 2.3% in April, reflecting rising oil and commodity prices. The projection for 2022 remains at 2.7%.

Established in 1966, the Asian Development Bank is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.