Asian Development Outlook (ADO) 2020 Update: Wellness in Worrying Times
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt global economic activity, developing Asia's gross domestic product is now expected to contract by 0.7% in 2020. GDP is projected to grow by 6.8% in 2021.
This is the region's first recession in nearly 6 decades. Excluding high-income newly industrialized economies, regional GDP is expected to contract by 0.5% this year before growing by 7.2% next year. Softening demand and subdued food prices will keep inflation benign. The inflation forecast is revised down from 3.2% to 2.9% for 2020 and maintained at 2.3% for 2021.
The threat of a prolonged COVID-19 pandemic and a return to more stringent containment measures is the main risk to the outlook. While economies in developing Asia remain resilient, continued policy support is needed to underpin recovery.
Physical and mental health is vital to post-pandemic recovery. The report’s theme chapter explores wellness, or the pursuit of holistic health and well-being. It examines the state of wellness in Asia and the Pacific and its growing role in the region’s economy. It discusses how policy makers can promote wellness by creating healthy living environments, encouraging physical activity and healthy diets, and enhancing workplace wellness.