Asia-Pacific - Containing the virus is the key to recovery
Asia-Pacific economies that have convincingly contained the coronavirus outbreak have seen workplace mobility recover to levels close to normal (China, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Vietnam) or are moving in that direction (Australia and Thailand). These economies will lead the economic recovery. Other APAC countries that have not succeeded in (fully) containing the virus will lag the upturn.
China’s forceful restrictions had a massive economic impact. Now, following the containment of Covid-19 and the easing of these restrictions, its economy is recovering. Meanwhile the generally rapid, decisive, and consistent actions taken by South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong have allowed them to stem the outbreak without severe restrictions, limiting the economic impact.
Following stringent restrictions in March, Australia, Thailand and, especially, Vietnam have also reined in the Covid-19 outbreak. Amid some recent easing of restrictions, rising workplace mobility suggests the domestic economic impact should mitigate in these countries. Malaysia and the Philippines have also made progress with containment, but not yet decisively. With less room to ease restrictions, we expect their economic recovery to lag that of the other three.