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ADB cuts SE Asia's growth forecast due to Omicron spread

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has warned that the spread of the Omicron virus variant could reduce up to 0.8 percentage points off the estimated 5.1% growth of Southeast Asia’s economy this year. This is if the Omicron disrupts supply and demand - and thus affects economic activity - for six months. The ADB projected that the region's economic output is likely to be down by 10.3% in 2022 against a baseline without the Covid-19 pandemic. The ADB has a healthier outlook for Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia while Thailand, Vietnam, Brunei, Cambodia, and Laos are unlikely to fare as well, due to factors such as heavier economic reliance on tourism. Masatsugu Asakawa, president of the ADB, has encouraged Southeast Asian governments to invest in smart, green infrastructure and adopt technological innovations to reinvigorate economic growth.

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