BANGKOK (NNT) – The tourism and export sectors have been hit hard by the outbreak of COVID-19 in China, with a growing number of cases found in Thailand and the region. This has made the latest TCC Confidence Index for January 2020 show a continuous decline from the previous year.

The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce’s (UTCC) Center for Economic and Business Forecasting’s (CEBF) consulting director Thanawat Polvichai, announced that the center’s Thai Chamber of Commerce (TCC) Confidence Index in January 2020, which measures the economic confidence of the country, scored 45.4, which is lower than the December 2019 score of 45.7, showing the 11th consecutive monthly decline.

COVID-19 virus concerns, air pollution issues and the drought disaster

The low performing number was affected by COVID-19 virus concerns which have severely affected the tourism sector, as well as the air pollution issue, the drought disaster, and the delay in government budget disbursements, affecting domestic consumption and delaying private investments.

The CEBF now expects the Thai economy to grow at only 0.5-0.8 percent in Q1 2020, wiping some 100 billion baht money from the system, and affecting the GDP performance by 1-1.5 percent.

The center is suggesting the government stimulate the tourism sector, to alleviate the declining number of international tourists, and to ensure the disbursement of the government budget occurs by April or May.

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