PETALING JAYA (June 29): S&P Global cut its growth forecasts on Malaysia to 4.1% from 6.2%, mainly due to slower than expected vaccination rate, reported Reuters.

Other than Malaysia, the rating agency also reduce the growth forecasts of other top economies in Asia including India and the Philippines. India's growth projection downgraded to 9.5% from 11%; the Philippines' lowered to 6% from 7.9%.

However, there are some countries seeing the growth forecasts being nudged up, such as China's forecast was increased to 8.3% from 8%, Brazil's was hoisted to 4.7% from 3.4%, Mexico's to 5.8% from 4.9% while those of South Africa, Poland and Russia were lifted to 4.2%, 4.5% and 3.7%, respectively, from 3.6%, 3.4% and 3.3%, said the report.

S&P's economists said the top risk facing emerging market economies (EMs) is a slower-than-expected rollout of the vaccines, as the pandemic would only subside once vaccinations "reach a level consistent with herd immunity".

According to the report, vaccines in most Asia countries are currently being administered at a rate of 0.2 doses per 100 people per day. At this rate, the rating agency estimated it would take another 23 months for 70% of EM Asia's population to be fully vaccinated.

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