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Economy

Asian growth to grind to halt for 1st time in 60 years, IMF says

Virus takes 'unprecedented' toll on service sector and major export destinations

A customer wearing a face mask writes down his information as he enters a Moka Bros restaurant in Beijing following the novel coronavirus outbreak.   © Reuters

TOKYO (Reuters) -- Asia's economic growth this year will grind to a halt for the first time in 60 years, as the coronavirus crisis takes an "unprecedented" toll on the region's service sector and major export destinations, the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday.

Policymakers must offer targeted support to households and firms hardest-hit by travel bans, social distancing policies and other measures aimed at containing the pandemic, said Changyong Rhee, director of the IMF's Asia and Pacific Department.

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