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Reuters reports that “Asia’s economic growth this year will grind to a halt for the first time in 60 years, as the coronavirus crisis takes an “unprecedented” toll on the region’s service sector and major export destinations, the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday.”

Policymakers must offer targeted support to households and firms hardest-hit by travel bans, social distancing policies and other measures aimed at containing the pandemic, said Changyong Rhee, director of the IMF’s Asia and Pacific Department.

“These are highly uncertain and challenging times for the global economy. The Asia-Pacific region is no exception. The impact of the coronavirus on the region will be severe, across the board, and unprecedented,” he told a virtual news briefing conducted with live webcast.

“This is not a time for business as usual. Asian countries need to use all policy instruments in their toolkits.”

Key notes

  • Asia’s economic growth in 2020 likely to grind to halt for 1st time in 60 years – IMF
  • Asia’s economy to expand 7.6% next year if containment policies succeed, though outlook highly uncertain – IMF
  • Asian policymakers must offer targeted support to households and firms hit hardest by containment policies – IMF
  • IMF’s Georgieva: Executive board approves creation of short-term liquidity line

Meanwhile, markets overnight were taking the IMF’s warnings seriously and risk-off was the theme and given the latest COVID-19 data, we are likely to stay that way: US coronavirus deaths set single-day record increase of 2,371, totalling 30,817 – Reuters tally

  • Wall Street Close: COVID-19 impact on US economy has investors profit taking