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Credit Conditions Asia-Pacific: COVID-19: Flatter Growth, Tougher Recovery

Credit conditions in Asia-Pacific going into the second half 2020 will be very tough. Containment measures to stem the spread of COVID-19 pandemic have escalated regionally (outside China) with global confirmed cases doubling to more than 2 million over recent weeks. These measures, together with business and consumer behavioral changes, are having a wider and deeper effect on credit conditions in Asia-Pacific beyond what we estimated in late March. The COVID-19-affected U.S. and European economies are major trading partners of Asia-Pacific. While China has begun its economic recovery in the second quarter of 2020, the U.S. and Europe will likely be hit hardest in the second quarter of 2020. Consequently, for major economies as a whole, we anticipate economic recovery to be slow through the second half 2020 before gathering strength going into 2021. However, 2021 growth--driven by a rebound of demand--is not expected to make up for output lost during the current downturn.

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