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COVID-19 Economic Impact Could Reach $253 Billion in Southeast Asia, says ADB

The cost of the coronavirus pandemic could reach as much as $253 million, or almost 7.2% of GDP in Southeast Asia, and between 158 million to 242 million jobs could be lost globally, with 70% of those in Asia and the Pacific, according to the ADB.

Olivier Languepin

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People sit in long lines as they wait to file complaints for not yet receiving the 5,000 Thai baht (150 USD) financial assistance for those whose income is impacted by the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, as others (front) file their documents, in front of the Public Relations Department in Bangkok on May 7, 2020. (Photo by Lillian SUWANRUMPHA / AFP)

The cost of the coronavirus pandemic could reach as much as $8.8 trillion, or almost 10% of global gross domestic product, and between 158 million to 242 million jobs could be lost globally, with 70% of those in Asia and the Pacific, according to the ADB.

The report, Updated Assessment of the Potential Economic Impact of COVID-19, finds that economic losses in Asia and the Pacific could range from $1.7 trillion under a short containment scenario of 3 months to $2.5 trillion under a long containment scenario of 6 months, with the region accounting for about 30% of the overall decline in global output. 

Economic losses in Southeast Asia could range between $163.2 and $252.9 billion depending on the containment scenario.

Under the short and long containment scenarios, the report notes that border closures, travel restrictions, and lockdowns that outbreak-affected economies implemented to arrest the spread of COVID-19 will likely cut global trade by $1.7 trillion to $2.6 trillion.

Global employment decline will be between 158 million and 242 million jobs, with Asia and the Pacific comprising 70% of total employment losses.

Labor income around the world will decline by $1.2 trillion to $1.8 trillion—30% of which will be felt by economies in the Asia and the Pacific region, or between $359 billion and $550 billion.

“This new analysis presents a broad picture of the very significant potential economic impact of COVID-19,” said ADB Chief Economist Yasuyuki Sawada. “It also highlights the important role policy interventions can play to help mitigate damage to economies. These findings can provide governments with a relevant policy guide as they develop and implement measures to contain and suppress the pandemic, and lessen its impacts on their economies and people.”

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