The forecast reflects a sharp downward revision of 5.2 percent from the forecast made in October 2019. According to the latest South Asia Economic Focus of the World Bank released on Thursday, the real GDP of Bangladesh at constant prices is forecast to grow at 1.6 percent in the year 2020-21 before rebounding to 3.4 percent for the year 2021-22.
Mercy Tembon, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan however, appreciated the policies that the government has undertaken to mitigate the impacts of COVID 19 on the economy, said the WB Press release.
The World Bank report forecasts a sharper than expected economic slump across the South Asia region with regional growth rate expected to contract by 7.7 percent in 2020.
Contrasting with the previous downturns, the report noted that this time private consumption which is the backbone of demand in South Asia and a core of economic welfare, will decline by more that 10 percent further adding to the poverty rates.
According to the report the COVID 19 crisis has been worst for small business and informal workers who suffered sudden job losses. It says that three quarters of all workers in South Asia depend on informal employment which has been most affected by the COVID 19 containment measures.
The World Bank said that it will be deploying up to dollar 160 billion in financial support over 15 months to help more than 100 countries protect the poor and vulnerable, develop human capital, support businesses, and bolster economic recovery. It includes dollar 50 billion of new IDA resources.