Coronavirus To Slow Down Asian Pacific Economies
The outbreak will hit Asia Pacific economies, particularly in retail, restaurants, conferences, sporting events, tourism and commercial aviation.
Thailand, Japan and Vietnam are among the economies that will be hit by the new Chinese travel restrictions and sharp near-term slowdown in Chinese tourist visits, Asian economist assessed.
The pandemic will hit particularly in retail, restaurants, conferences, sporting events, tourism and commercial aviation, said Rajiv Biswas, Asia Pacific chief economist at IHS Markit.
He said Thailand has been one of the "most notable beneficiaries of the boom in Chinese tourism," with total annual Chinese tourist visits rising from 2.7 million in 2012 to 10.5 million in 2019. Chinese tourist spending in Thailand was estimated to have reached $17 billion in 2019.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand is meeting with the private sector on Tuesday to address concerns from an expected slump in business, the Bangkok Post reported.
Japan's services industry is also getting hit by a rash of trip and hotel cancellations, the Nikkei Asian Review reported.
The country is a top vacation spot and IHS' Biswas noted that total Chinese tourist visits to Japan hitting 9.6 million in 2019, accounting for 30% of total foreign tourist visits.
Meanwhile, Chinese tourism arrivals accounted for one-third of international visits to Vietnam, and 15% of total international tourist visits to Australia.
Biswas said governments in Asia Pacific are likely to respond with a range of fiscal and monetary policy stimulus to prop up near-term growth.
Singapore's Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said the outbreak is expected to affect the economy of the city-state, Reuters reported. The government is considering support measures like worker levy cuts for impacted sectors like tourism, Chan reportedly said.
Key are the next few weeks
It will be another few weeks before the impact of implemented public health measures can be assessed, due to the incubation period of the virus, said Paul Tambyah, a professor at the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine.
"In order to stop a virus from spreading, you got to isolate everybody who's sick. You need to find every case, isolate them, make sure they don't spread it to anyone else and then, you can stop the epidemic," Tambyah told CNBC.