Vaccination Rollout Impacts 2021 Projections
Outlooks Brighten for Early Adopters Singapore, Indonesia, India
The Japan Center for Economic Research and Nikkei conducted the twenty-first quarterly consensus survey on Asian economies from March 5 to 26, collecting 40 answers from economists and analysts in the five biggest members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations -- Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand -- and in India. In 2021 Asian economists expect their economies to return to positive growth levels, but their outlooks compared to the previous survey (December 2020) differ from economy to economy. Outlooks for Singapore, Indonesia, and India improved, but those for Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines pointed downward. Most economists see the rollout of COVID-19 vaccination as one of the most significant positive developments over the last three months, and all three upward-trending countries have rolled out vaccinations relatively sooner. This may have improved economists’ outlooks. Delays in vaccination and the spread of COVID variants are listed as factors that might damage the economies. Expectations for 2022 are higher than in the previous survey (excluding Thailand), and expectations for recovery are rising.
The outcome of this survey was also reported at Nikkei Asia. (April 6, 2021)
◆ Main points of the survey
- The average growth rate of the five ASEAN countries in 2021 was 4.3%, matching the previous survey and representing a sharp recovery from 2020’s negative 4.8%.
- India is expected to recover in a V-shape, up to 11.2% from minus 7.6% in fiscal 2020 (2020/2021), and up 2.1 points from the previous survey.
- The outlook of ASEAN5 countries is divided into two groups. Singapore’s growth rate was up 1.6 points to 6.1% and Indonesia’s rose 0.3 points to 3.9%. On the other hand, Malaysia’s was down 0.6 points to 5.3%, and the Philippines’ was also down 0.7 points to 5.2%. Thailand is expected to grow at the lowest rate among the surveyed countries, down 0.9 points to 2.6%.
- Expectations for 2022 are higher than in the previous survey (excluding Thailand), and expectations for recovery are rising.
- Most economists see the start of COVID-19 vaccination as one of the most significant positive developments of the last three months, and all three upward-trending countries began vaccinating relatively sooner.
- Many economists identify both the further spread of COVID variants and the delay in vaccination rollout as concerns for economies, but many economists also cited “Inflation Acceleration” as the second-largest risk factor after “Corona Shock” in the Philippines and India.
Indonesia: Dendi Ramdani, head of industry and regional research department, Bank Mandiri; Umar Juoro, senior fellow, The Habibie Center; Wisnu Wardana, economist, PT Bank Danamon Indonesia Tbk.
Malaysia: Suhaimi Ilias, chief economist, Maybank Investment Bank; Wan Suhaimie bin Wan Mohd Saidie, head, economic research, Kenanga Investment Bank; Vincent Loo Yeong Hong, senior economist, KAF Research
Philippines: Alvin Ang, director, Ateneo Center for Economic Research and Development, Ateneo de Manila University; Jonathan Ravelas, chief market strategist, BDO Unibank Inc.; Jojo Gonzales, managing director, Philippine Equity Partners Inc.; Pauline Revillas, research analyst, Metrobank; Emilio S. Neri Jr., vice president and lead economist, Bank of the Philippine Islands; Carlo Asuncion, chief economist, Union Bank of the Philippines; Victor Abola, senior economist, University of Asia and the Pacific; Mitzie Conchada, associate dean, school of economics, De La Salle University
Singapore: Manu Bhaskaran, CEO, Centennial Asia Advisors; Randolph Tan, director, Centre for Applied Research, Singapore University of Social Sciences; Yuma Tsuchiya, senior economist, MUFG Bank, Ltd.
Thailand: Panundorn Aruneeniramarn, assistant vice president, Siam Commercial Bank – Economic Intelligence Center; Lalita Thienprasiddhi, senior resercher, Kasikorn Research Center; Somprawin Manprasert, head of research division and chief economist, Bank of Ayudhya PCL; Amonthep Chawla, head of research, CIMB Thai Bank
India: Punit Srivastava, head of research, Daiwa Capital Markets India; Dharmakirti Joshi, chief economist, CRISIL; Sonal Varma, India chief economist, Nomura India; Tirthankar Patnaik, chief economist, National Stock Exchange of India; Jyoti Vij, deputy secretary general, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI); Madan Sabnavis, chief economist, CARE Ratings
For multiple countries: Euben Paracuelles, senior economist, Nomura Singapore; Rahul Bajoria, director, regional economist, Barclays Bank; Nicholas Mapa, senior economist, ING Bank Philippines
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