Southeast Asian economies slow amid pandemic

Economic growth in Southeast Asian nations slowed in the January-to-March period, as the coronavirus pandemic affected tourism and manufacturing sectors.

Data from major economies in Southeast Asia showed that Thailand's GDP slowed to an eight-year low of minus 1.8 percent in the quarter, compared with the same period last year.

Singapore's economy contracted 2.2 percent, while the Philippines' shrank by 0.2 percent in its first contraction in 21 years.

The Indonesian economy -- the largest in the region -- decelerated to 2.9 percent, its slowest pace since 2001.

After enjoying a run of economic growth hovering around 7 percent, Vietnam's growth slowed to 3.8 percent in the quarter. Malaysia's growth slowed to 0.7 percent.

Analysts say the countries' growth rates will likely slow further in the April-to-June quarter due to the lingering effects of the pandemic.