The World Bank is predicting slower economic growth for developing nations in the East Asia and Pacific regions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A report issued by the bank Tuesday said while China’s economy is expected to grow by 8.5% in 2021, the rest of the region will only expand by 2.5%, down from its April forecast of 4.4%. 

Manuela Ferro, the World Bank’s vice president for East Asia and Pacific, says the region’s economic recovery from the pandemic “faces a reversal of fortune.” 

The report says the persistence of COVD-19 will likely hurt growth and increase inequality throughout the region.

The bank is urging governments to enhance testing and tracing to contain the spread of the virus, increase regional production of vaccines and strengthen their health systems. 

The Manila-based Asian Development Bank issued a separate report last week predicting the region’s developing economies will likely grow at a slower-than-expected pace in 2021 due to lingering COVID-19 outbreaks and the slow pace of vaccination efforts. 

The ADB also predicted that economies in Southeast Asia would grow by just 3.1% this year. It also had predicted 4.4% growth back in its economic outlook back in April. 


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