Second waves of coronavirus outbreaks may not mean reimposing blanket restrictions on activity in Asia. The region’s economies, which have seen more than half a century of growth grind to a halt, won't be able to handle it. That means the future will be speckled with pocket-size lockdowns.
Leaders are wary of repeating the huge contractions in commerce that came with complete closures. Singapore, better placed than many of its neighbors thanks to four stimulus packages and substantial financial reserves, saw a dramatic decline in gross domestic product in the second quarter. The city-state’s economy shrank at a whopping 41.2 percent annualized rate from the previous quarter, in the first major data release since last week’s election. The dismal reading is likely to be the first among many double-digit declines expected across the region in coming weeks.