Sustained efforts from governments could soften Covid-19’s economic impact by as much as 30% to 40%, according ADB
The global economy may suffer between $5.8 trillion and $8.8 trillion in losses - equivalent to 6.4% to 9.7% of global gross domestic product (GDP) - as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The figures were published in a new report released by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Friday, BSS reports.
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 three months to $2.5 trillion under a long containment scenario of six months, with the region accounting for about 30% of the overall decline in global output.
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) could suffer losses between $1.1 trillion and $1.6 trillion. The new analysis updates findings presented in the Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2020 published on April 3, which estimated Covid-19’s global cost to range from $2.0 trillion to $4.1 trillion, said an ADB press release.
The report said the governments around the world have been quick in responding to the impacts of the pandemic, implementing measures such as fiscal and monetary easing, increased health spending, and direct support to cover losses in incomes and revenues.
Sustained efforts from governments focused on these measures could soften Covid-19’s economic impact by as much as 30% to 40%, according to the report. This could reduce global economic losses due to the pandemic to between $4.1 trillion and $5.4 trillion.
The analysis, which uses a Global Trade Analysis Project - computable general equilibrium model, covers 96 outbreak - affected economies with over 4 million Covid-19 cases.
“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 of policy interventions which can play a role in helping 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.”
ADB’s Covid-19 Policy Database provides detailed information on the key economic measures that ADB members are taking to combat the pandemic.
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.
Labour income around the world will decline by $1.2 trillion to $1.8 trillion – 30% of which will be felt by economies in the region, or between $359 billion and $550 billion.
Apart from increasing health spending and strengthening health systems, strong income and employment protection are essential to avoid a more difficult and prolonged economic recovery.
The report said the governments should manage supply chain disruptions; support and deepen e-commerce and logistics for the delivery of goods and services; and fund temporary social protection measures, unemployment subsidies, and the distribution of essential commodities - particularly food - to prevent sharper falls in consumption, the report says.
Since the situation is rapidly evolving, ADB will update its impact assessment considering additional spillover channels as needed.
ADB is actively supporting its members as they address the effects of Covid-19 through its $20 billion response package announced on April 13.
The bank has approved a series of measures to streamline its operations for quicker and more flexible delivery of assistance which are in details on ADB’s website.