Sun, 17 Jan 2021

ULAN BATOR, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- Mongolia's central bank has downgraded its economic forecast for the country in 2020 from a 2 percent-to-4-percent contraction to a 5.4-percent one over the COVID-19 pandemic, a senior bank official said Monday.

"Both internal and external uncertainties to the economy are increasing after our country recorded domestically transmitted cases of COVID-19. Therefore, we revised the 2020 economic outlook to contraction of 5.4 percent," said Bayardavaa Bayarsaikhan, head of the Monetary Policy Department of the Bank of Mongolia.

Mongolia's gross domestic product decreased by 7.3 percent year-on-year in the first three quarters of 2020 due to restrictive measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, according to the country's National Statistics Office.

The Asian country entered a state of public disaster preparedness and imposed a nationwide 24-hour lockdown from 6 a.m. local time on Nov. 12 (2200 GMT, Nov. 11) until Dec. 1 after reporting its first locally transmitted COVID-19 case.

The first local COVID-19 patient was identified as a woman, whose husband, a transport driver, returned from Russia and tested positive for the virus.

As of Monday morning, the country has confirmed 640 COVID-19 cases, including 214 locally transmitted ones.

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