The Thai economy shrank by 1.8 per cent year on year in the first quarter, according to the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC). 

The state planning agency also cut its forecast for 2020 gross domestic product (GDP) to a contraction of 5.0 to 6.0 per cent, possibly close to the worst decline since 1998 during the Asian “Yom Yam Gung” financial crisis. 

The agency also lowered the country’s export forecast to a contraction of up to 8%.

The economy will be hit hardest in the second quarter by lockdowns, Thosaporn Sirisumphand, head of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC), told a news briefing.

Meanwhile, the government began disbursing cash handouts in April handing out financial aid to millions of Thais affected by the COVID-19 crisis, and businesses were gradually allowed to reopen as Thailand moved to a new phase of relaxation.

But Krungthai Compass Research Centre said Thailand’s economy could contract by as much as 8.8% due to supply shock, weak domestic consumption, shrinking private investment and lower exports, with the highest contraction rate likely in the second quarter.

GDP fell a seasonally adjusted 2.2% in the first quarter compared with the previous three months, better than the median estimate of a 4.2% contraction in a Bloomberg survey of economists. 

2020 Tourist Arrivals Forecast cut to 14 million

The number of foreign tourists may plunge by almost two-thirds or 65% this year, the lowest level since 2006, as the coronavirus pandemic hits global travel.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) now predicts only 14 million to 16 million foreign visitors this year, down from 33.8 million projected in March.

Last year’s foreign arrivals were a record 39.8 million and spending from foreign tourists amounted to 1.93 trillion baht, or 11% of gross domestic product.

About the author

Bangkok Correspondent at Siam News Network

Bangkok Correspondent for Siam News Network. Editor at Thailand Business News

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

Get notified of our weekly selection of news

You May Also Like

FDI Drive Thailand’s Investment Up 59% says BOI

Japan once again topped the list of FDI source countries with a combined investment value of 80.7 billion baht for 178 projects, followed by China with 38.6 billion baht in investment pledges for 112 projects, and Singapore with 29.7 billion baht for 96 projects.

Thailand’s Ministry of Finance expects 3.5 to 4.5% economic growth in 2022

For next year, the Ministry of Finance is projecting an economic growth of 3.5-4.5% from effective pandemic control measures, incentives, domestic spending, the export sector, private investment support, global economic recovery, and government expenditures.