Economic data is frightful right now — from retail sales to exports, growth engines are sputtering sharply. After a supply shock from China’s factory closures in February, Asia is confronting both domestic and external demand shocks in the second quarter. Mobility restrictions, especially in economies dependent on domestic demand such as India, Indonesia and the Philippines, have suppressed already shy spenders. Even in countries with “normalised” mobility, self-restraint has left shopkeepers wanting. Missing tourists, falling export sales, weakening remittances and cautious foreign investors have put income pressure on current account deficit economies, and even excess-saving ones such as China, Singapore and Thailand.
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