The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has trimmed its forecast for regional economic growth following fresh outbreaks of Covid-19.

The ADB now expects developing Asian economies to expand by 7pc this year and 5.3pc in 2022, down slightly from its most recent forecast of 7.1pc and 5.4pc respectively.

The main risk to growth remains a resurgence in Covid-19 cases, the bank said. “New outbreaks in the third quarter muted gross domestic product growth, and the advent of the Omicron virus variant is causing renewed uncertainty,” said ADB’s acting chief economist Joseph Zveglich Jr.

Growth is forecast to slow slightly in the region’s two biggest economies, China and India. The ADB sees the Chinese economy expanding by 8pc this year and 5.3pc in 2022, down from 8.1pc and 5.5pc respectively. India’s growth forecast for the April 2021-March 2022 fiscal year has been cut by 0.3 percentage points to 9.7pc as supply chain issues affect the economy.

The ADB’s forecasts span central Asia to the Pacific islands, excluding the region’s sole major developed economy Japan. The US and Japan are the largest shareholders in the Philippines-based bank, which lends to social and economic projects in the region.

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