- October 1, 2020: Vol. 12, Number 9

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Economic woes: The effect of the pandemic on Asia Pacific economies and real estate

by Dr Yang Liang Chua

In this tumultuous time, governments around the world have taken all steps to contain (or not) the spread of COVID-19. The pandemic, which has global casualties exceeding 750,000 since it started in December 2019, has also brought the world’s economy spiralling down. The World Bank forecasts a decline in global GDP of 5.2 percent in 2020, twice as bad as the global financial crisis in 2009. We have not seen such a drastic global recession since World War II.

As we head beyond the half-year mark, we are beginning to witness phase two of the pandemic. Some of the economies that have successfully contained the first wave of infection have gradually eased their social restrictions, and economic activities were just restarting when the second wave of infection inundated them. Hong Kong, Auckland and Melbourne are fighting to contain this resurgence, while Beijing successfully contained its second outbreak within a month after the new cluster was discovered in mid-June. The much-

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