Asian economies won’t grow this year, warns IMF

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Economies in Asia will see zero growth this year for the first time in 60 years, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said.

Its bleak outlook for the region comes as it warns the global economy will face the “worst recession since the Great Depression”.

Asia’s service sector in particular will struggle to rebound, it said.

Airlines, factories, shops and restaurants have been “hard hit” by national lockdowns.

Changyong Rhee, director of the IMF’s Asia and Pacific Department, warned that governments would need to take extraordinary actions as a result.

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

Policymakers must offer targeted support to households and firms hardest-hit by travel bans, social distancing policies and other containment measures, the IMF said.