Highlights

Recent Developments

• The COVID-19 pandemic has severely disrupted global economic activity. The global economy in 2020 is
projected to suffer the deepest recession since World War II, despite unprecedented policy support.
• Pandemic containment measures, such as international travel bans and domestic lockdowns, while necessary
to control disease spread, have brought global travel and tourism to a virtual halt.
• Brunei has managed to control its COVID-19 outbreak by imposing containment measures early. This has,
however, affected activity in several service sub-sectors. In Q1, growth moderated to 2.4 percent but growth in
Q2 is expected to experience a sharper slowdown due to stringent measures implemented in mid-March.
• Brunei’s growth in 2020 has been revised downwards to between 1 and 2 percent.

Special Feature: Impact of COVID-19 in Brunei using near real-time measures

• Using Google search data as a proxy for consumer demand, the travel-related and consumer-facing service
sectors in Brunei experienced steep contractions from mid-March to May when containment measures were
most intense. Economic activity has gradually recovered since early June.