A report by the Wall Street Journal on Monday (Aug 2) claims that the highly contagious Delta variant is stalling Asia’s economic recovery after an early rebound.

The report said that adding to rising COVID-19 cases, slow progress on vaccinations has begun to paralyze the region that had, until recently, kept the virus in check.

Southeast Asia, the worse hit region, showed the largest decline in manufacturing production since May last year due to the recent introduction of social distancing and lockdown measures across the region.

The Wall Street Journal also noted that exporting countries in Asia, such as South Korea and China, which have benefited from a rebound in overseas consumer demand are also showing signs of slowing down. It also predicts the rise in cases could change Asian central banks’ plans to normalize monetary policy.

Meanwhile, a Bloomberg article on Friday (Aug 6) is indicating that Southeast Asia financial markets are feeling the heat with the Delta surge. Stocks, bonds, and currencies are slumping in the region which resulted in Philippines Del Monte delaying its initial public offering citing market volatility.


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