A “MEANINGFUL near term economic growth impact” has been predicted for the Asia-Pacific region due to the impact of the Novel Coronavirus, analysts UBS Research have predicted.

“Beyond tourism, lower confidence and the weaker Chinese growth we now forecast will depress near-term regional prospects,” the analysts reported.

“Although we project a subsequent recovery, we revise lower near term growth and full year 2020 growth for the region.”

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According to UBS, Asian GDP is projected to contract in the first quarter for the majority of economies, with forecast reductions largest in Singapore, Hong Kong and Thailand.

“The reductions in growth projections are greatest for HK because of its status as a trade hub, tight linkages to the Chinese economy and the likely sharp decline in tourism expenditure,” UBS reported.

“Singapore, is less closely linked to China than HK, but is in a similar position and has tightly restricted travel from China for non-residents. Thailand is the most highly exposed Asian economy to tourism.”

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