World Bank Forecasts Worst Economic Slump in South Asia in 40 Years

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India and other South Asian countries are likely to record their worst growth performance in four decades this year due to the coronavirus outbreak, the World Bank said today.

The South Asian region, comprising eight countries, is likely to show economic growth of 1.8% to 2.8% this year, the World Bank said in its South Asia Economic Focus report, well down from the 6.3% it projected six months ago.

India’s economy, the region’s biggest, is expected to grow 1.5% to 2.8% in the fiscal year that started on April 1. The World Bank has estimated it will grow 4.8% to 5% in the fiscal year that ended on March 31, according to Reuters.

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“The green shoots of a rebound that were observable at the end of 2019 have been overtaken by the negative impacts of the global crisis,” the World Bank report said.

Other than India, the World Bank forecast that Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh will also see sharp falls in economic growth.

Three other countries – Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Maldives – are expected to fall into recession, the World Bank said in the report, which was based on country-level data available as of April 7.

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