World Bank says Delta variant slowing economic growth in East Asia and Pacific

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Labourers at a construction site in Shanghai, China. Picture taken July 12, 2021. REUTERS/Aly Song

Sept 27 (Reuters) – The East Asia and Pacific region’s recovery has been undermined by the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant, which is likely slowing economic growth and increasing inequality in the region, the World Bank said on Monday.

Economic activity began to slow in the second quarter of 2021, and growth forecasts have been downgraded for most countries in the region, according to the World Bank’s East Asia and Pacific Fall 2021 Economic Update.

While China’s economy is projected to expand by 8.5%, the rest of the region is forecast to grow at 2.5%, nearly 2 percentage points less than forecast in April 2021, the World Bank said.

“The economic recovery of developing East Asia and Pacific faces a reversal of fortune,” said Manuela Ferro, World Bank Vice President for East Asia and Pacific.

“Whereas in 2020 the region contained COVID-19 while other…

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