Analysts said that the COVID-19 Delta variant and slow vaccination rollouts have slowed down the recovery of Asia’s economies.
New surges in COVID-19 infections dampened Asia’s momentum for recovery as the region is forced to reimpose tightened health measures, with most of the negative effects felt in developing countries.
“The biggest factor is that Asia is poorly vaccinated,” said Rob Carnell, researcher at ING.
Southeast Asia was hit hardest by soaring cases, with most countries in the region having inoculated only more or less 20 percent of their population as of August.
Toyota executive Kazunari Kumakura stated that the slowdown in Southeast Asia, a manufacturing hub for parts supply, “had a major impact” in Toyota’s slashing of September production by 40 percent.
IHS Markit reported on Aug. 5 that Asia’s output, while fast-growing, is at its weakest in months.
Economists initially expected Asia to be the first region to fully recover from the pandemic.
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