The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has revised down its forecast for Vietnam’s GDP growth to 1.6% in 2020 from a previous estimate of 2.7% in June.
Vietnam, however, remains the only country among major economies in ASEAN – 5 (Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam) expected to deliver positive growth this year.
Notably, the IMF predicted the Philippines to have the biggest GDP decline this year among its regional peers, with a contraction of 8.3%, compared to a 3.6% decline projected in June. It is followed by Thailand (-7.1%), Malaysia (-6%), and Indonesia (-1.5%).
Overall, ASEAN-5 economies are expected to contract by 3.4% in 2020, before expanding 6.2% in 2021.
For next year, IMF expected Malaysia to record the fastest growth with 7.8%, the Philippines to be in the second place with 7.4%, Vietnam in third with 6.7%, followed by Indonesia (6,1%) and Thailand (4%).
In the first nine months of 2020, Vietnam’s GDP growth was estimated at 2.12%, the lowest 9-month growth rate in the past 10 years amid the Covid-19 crisis, according to official data.
For this year, the Vietnamese government targets economic growth of 2% in normal conditions and 2.5% if favorable factors emerge.
Meanwhile, the global economy is projected to contract 4.4% in 2020, 0.8 percentage points above IMF’s forecast in June.
The agency attributed stronger projection for 2020 to the upward impetus from better-than-anticipated second quarter GDP outturns (mostly in advanced economies) versus the downdraft from persistent social distancing and stalled reopenings in the second half of the year.
With such a momentum, the IMF expected the world’s economy to strengthen gradually in 2021.
“The recovery is likely to be characterized by persistent social distancing until health risks are addressed—and countries may have to again tighten mitigation measures depending on the spread of the virus,” it said.
The IMF expected global growth to reach 5.2% in 2021, or 0.2 percentage points lower than its forecast in June.