The Russian invasion of Ukraine threatens the uneven recovery of developing East Asia and Pacific (EAP) countries. The invasion comes on top of the economic distress caused by the lingering COVID-19 pandemic, the financial tightening in the United States, and the pandemic resurgence and the economic slowdown in China. While commodity producers and fiscally solid countries in the region may weather these shocks with less difficulty, these events will dampen the growth prospects of most economies in the region. Overall economic growth is projected to slow to 5 percent in 2022— 0.4 of a percentage point less than expected in October. If global conditions worsen and national policy responses are weak, growth could ease further.[Download report: Braving the Storms: East Asia and Pacific Economic Update, April 2022]
The outlook for East Asia and the Pacific can be illustrated in the following charts:
1. Economic recovery had resumed in the final quarter of 2021
By end 2021, recovery appeared to be gaining traction, led by China. The rest of the region too posted strong growth in the fourth quarter of 2021, following a dip in the preceding three months due to the Delta COVID-19 variant . However, the recovery was uneven across the region, and output remained below pre-pandemic levels in many economies.