ADB projects Indian economy to shrink by 9pct

By Shakir Husain

NEW DELHI, Sept 15 (NNN-BERNAMA) — India’s economy will shrink by nine per cent as the Covid-19 pandemic poses a big risk to Asia’s growth outlook this year and next year, according to Asian Development Bank (ADB).

ADB took note that the country’s GDP contracted by a record 23.9 per cent in the first quarter of its fiscal year (April-March).

It forecasts India’s economy to shrink nine per cent on an annual basis before recovering by eight per cent in 2021-22.

Lockdowns to contain the spread of the coronavirus have stalled consumer and business spending in India, ADB said in a report.

India has recorded the second-highest number of coronavirus infections globally, with the tally crossing 4.9 million on Tuesday.

“Most economies in the Asia and Pacific region can expect a difficult growth path for the rest of 2020,” ADB chief economist Yasuyuki Sawada said.

He said the economic threat posed by the Covid-19 pandemic remained potent as extended first waves or recurring outbreaks could prompt further containment measures.