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IMF: Asian economy, emissions head for post-virus spike.

April 30, 2020

The collapse in economic growth in Asia’s fastest-emerging economies likely will mean a steep fall in Asia’s greenhouse gas emissions as well, albeit only a temporary one according to the International Monetary Fund as reported April 15, 2020 by Energy and Environmental News.

The IMF expects a strong recovery for Asia’s largest developing economies in 2021, which would mean China, India and Southeast Asian countries would continue to contribute a world-leading amount of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases to the atmosphere.

IMF economists say they believe the world’s economy will shrink by 3% this year, a near-complete reversal from a January 2020 forecast of a 3.3% expansion. The 3% contraction is a baseline scenario, the fund warns — the global contraction could prove even worse.

But the IMF is predicting a particularly strong surge of growth for China during 2021 as the world recovers from COVID-19, portending a spike in China’s contribution to global warming that year. A newly updated World Economic Outlook made public April 14th projects Chinese growth will slow to just 1.2% in 2020 but then rebound to 9.2% in 2021, a rate of growth China hasn’t seen in decades.

The advanced economies listed in the IMF’s revised World Economic Outlook are projected to all contract this year by a combined rate of 6.1%. In contrast, Gopinath said the advanced world’s economic contraction during the Great Depression was closer to 16%. But the 2020 contraction is still on track to outpace the global financial crisis of 2008-2009, she said.

The revised outlook says India’s economy will continue to expand, but just barely. It predicts just 1.9% growth for India this year. But like China, the IMF believes India’s 2021 recovery will prove unusually strong, calling for the Indian economy to rebound at a growth rate of 7.4% next year.

The economies of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations were seen as the fastest expanding region. The pandemic will grind ASEAN growth to a halt in 2020, with the IMF forecasting a contraction of 0.6%. But next year, the region’s economy should rebound more strongly than India’s. The IMF is now forecasting a 2021 ASEAN economic expansion of 7.8%.

Gopinath cautioned the outlook is still very murky, and the actual post-COVID recovery could prove faster or slower depending on how long the pandemic crisis lingers. “There is still considerable uncertainty about what the economic landscape will look like when we emerge from this lockdown,” she said.

Usually hosted every year in Washington, this year’s annual spring meetings of the World Bank and IMF are being held online in an effort to comply with bans on large gatherings and social distancing mandates.

What this means to you
The IMF expects a strong recovery for Asia’s largest developing economies in 2021, which would mean China, India and Southeast Asian countries would continue to contribute a world-leading amount of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases to the atmosphere.

MIRTECH can help
Contact MIRATECH for stationary engine solutions in Asia.