MANILA—The World Bank cut its growth forecast for East Asia and the Pacific for 2022 to reflect the economic impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, warning the region could lose further momentum if conditions worsen.
The Washington-based lender said in a report on Tuesday it expected 2022 growth in the developing East Asia and Pacific (EAP) region, which includes China, to expand 5.0 percent, lower than its 5.4 percent forecast in October.
But growth could slow to 4.0 percent if conditions worsened and government policy responses were weaker, World Bank said.
China’s economy is expected to grow 5.0 percent this year, down from a previous estimate of 5.4 percent, it said.
“The region confronts a triad of shocks which threaten to undermine its growth momentum,” said World Bank East Asia and Pacific Chief Economist Aaditya Mattoo.
The war between Russia and Ukraine, which Mattoo said was the “most serious risk” to the region’s growth outlook, is leading to food and fuel price increases, financial volatility, and reduced confidence all over the world.
Mattoo said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was more worrying given that the region was still contending with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, a structural slowdown in China, and faster inflation that could prompt quicker U.S. monetary tightening.
The war’s impact on economies in East Asia and the Pacific would vary depending on their exposure and resilience, Mattoo said. Excluding China, output in the rest of the region is projected to expand 4.8 percent this year.