Chart of the Week July 29, 2022: The Economic Performance of ASEAN-5 amid Global Uncertainties


The world economy has experienced multiple turmoils in the past three years. The COVID-19 pandemic brought the first wave of global economic decline, in which global GDP growth contracted by 3.3% in 2020. The global economy subsequently recovered in 2021, reaping an annual increase of 5.8%, amid the optimism that the arrival of vaccines will soon put COVID-19 to rest. The onslaught of the Russia-Ukraine War crushed this outlook. This week’s chart evaluates the experience of ASEAN-5 economies amid the global uncertainties.


  • Severe economic contraction in Q2 2020 is a common occurrence across all countries. Malaysia was one of the worst hit as its economy lost one-fifth of its value, whereas Indonesia was relatively resilient.
  • Most of the economic turnaround occurs in the first quarter of 2021. By the second quarter, the economies recovered, in which all but one country experienced a double-digit growth rate.
  • However, growth has slowed ever since. Malaysia’s GDP turned negative once again in Q3 2021 as the authority reimposed strict movement control after the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant
  • Thailand’s economy suffered the longest streak of economic downturn. It plunged into negative GDP growth for three consecutive quarters in 2020 before recovering briefly in the first two quarters of 2021. The recovery was short-lived as the country witnessed negative GDP growth rates in Q4 2021 and Q1 2022. The tourism-reliant economy continued to underperform relative to its peers while the pandemic kept tourists away.
  • Singapore witnessed strong post-pandemic recovery as the fastest growing economy of ASEAN-5 from 2021 Q1 to 2021 Q3.

Article By LIEW Wan Yin, Doris

Graphic By Yixuan GE

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