APEC in Charts—published last Tuesday and available for download—is an annual booklet produced by the APEC Policy Support Unit. It provides a graphical overview of the region’s performance and would be useful for researchers, policymakers and students across APEC’s membership.

This year APEC in Charts offers a visual reference for how hard COVID-19 has hit the region’s people and economy. In some cases the picture is stark.

The end of 2020 by no means signals the end of the crisis. Nevertheless, recovery is expected to begin in 2021 with GDP growth projected at 5.2 percent. Recovery hinges on what policies are implemented to contain the virus and start rebuilding better (for more on this, read the APEC Regional Trends Analysis).

Here are selected charts from the booklet:

  1. What happens in the Asia-Pacific region matters on a global scale. APEC members are especially diverse and collectively account for 38 percent of the world’s population, 61 percent of global nominal GDP and 47 percent of global trade, as of 2019.
  2. The COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing. Daily reported cases and deaths have not lowered in November compared to the surge in March and April.

    While several APEC economies have been successful in reining in the spread of COVID-19, the number of new daily cases and deaths in the APEC region remains high. After slowing down in late February, daily reported new COVID-19 cases and deaths around the APEC region accelerated again in late March and have not abated much after eight months.

  3. Already at the early stages of the pandemic, the region’s economic output had contracted by 2.2 percent in January-March 2020.

    The APEC region recorded real GDP growth of 3.6 percent in 2019. The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in negative real GDP growth rates in 10 economies during the first quarter of 2020.

  4. The number of international arrivals in APEC plunged in the first half of 2020 as the pandemic grounded flights.

    The number of international travelers arriving in APEC economies has generally followed an upward trend until 2019, reaching a peak of 33.7 million visitors in July 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 brought international travel to a near-standstill. From 27.3 million arrivals in January 2020, the number of international arrivals dropped to around 0.5 million in April 2020, declining by 98.1 percent within a span of three months.

  5. Since the start of the pandemic, the APEC region has recorded about 15 million cases and almost half a million deaths from COVID-19.

For more information, download APEC in Charts here.