Thailand’s Finance Ministry cut its economic growth forecast for 2021 to 1.3 percent from the previously forecast 2.3 percent, the third such revision this year, as the country battles its largest outbreak of COVID-19 to date.
The latest wave of coronavirus has seen a spike in cases and deaths in July, leading to tighter containment measures, including travel restrictions, mall closures and curfews amid a slump in the tourism sector.
“We have lowered our forecast quite a bit … but the range (of 0.8 percent to 1.8 percent growth) is still not negative,” said Kulaya Tantitemit, head of the ministry’s fiscal policy office.
The current outbreak has affected economic activities and the expected number of foreign tourists this year, but improved exports and fiscal measures would provide some support, Kulaya said.
The World Bank has reported that Thailand's economy is forecast to grow by 2.2% this year, down from the 3.4% projected earlier, due to the impact of a third wave of COVID-19 infections and weak tourism.
— NBT WORLD News (@NBTWORLDNews) July 17, 2021
international tourist spending accounts for 12 percent of Thailand’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Rising exports and fiscal stimulus measures would prevent the economy from contracting this year, following a 6.1 percent economic downturn in 2020, the director-general of the FPO said.
Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry also raised its forecast for exports for 2021, a key driver of growth, to a 16.6 percent increase from 11 percent estimated earlier as the global economy improved.
-Thailand News (TN)