The IMF said in a report Wednesday that the growth of Asian economies would slow to 1.3% this year from the 5.1% of the previous year. Next year, it would be expecting the growth to be 4.2%, but still below potential levels.

Among the industrialized countries, Japan was expected to experience severe recession throughout this year. The economy was projected to decline 6.2% this year, the worst annual performance on record.

Australia and New Zealand also are likely to see decline in output this year, by 1.4% and 2% respectively, although the two economies are expected to register positive growth towards the end of the year, helped by strong policy measures, healthy financial sectors and exchange-rate depreciation.

Among the other industrialized countries, Korea is expected to rebound from the crisis earlier and more strongly next year, as exports benefit from the sharply depreciated exchange rate and domestic demand is supported by policy measures.

The South-East Asian economies of Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines are likely to be hit severely by the global crisis owing to these countries' higher dependence on foreign trade. Thailand and Malaysia would experience negative growth this year, by 3% and 3.5% respectively, but Indonesia would experience a positive growth in the next two years along with Vietnam. In the Philippines, growth is projected to flat this year.

In India, the growth is to slow to 4.5% in 2009, but expected to rebound by the year end. China's growth would move down to 6.5 %, but recover to a 7.5%in 2010.

Looking forward, the IMF feels Asia's growth path is likely to run parallel to the global economy. In the next few months, many countries would register negative growth rates. Next year, a recovery is expected in Asia similar to the one in the global economy, the world lending agency added.

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