BANGKOK (NNT) – The Finance Ministry has reduced its 2021 economic growth forecast for a second time to 2.3% from 2.8% growth, after a third wave of coronavirus infections struck Thailand this month.

Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) Director-General Kulaya Tantitemit said the ministry slashed its forecast for the number of foreign tourists to only 2 million this year from 5 million it had predicted three months ago.

She said the expected fewer tourists will have quite an impact as that will cut tourism money to just over 100 billion baht from 260 billion baht previously projected.

The latest outbreak has seen half of its overall cases reported this month alone and came as the country was preparing to reopen more broadly to foreign tourists, as vaccinations increase globally.

The Director-General said inoculations at home and abroad could provide some support. The distribution of vaccines is very important as it will be positive for economic activity. The Finance Ministry also expects the economy to expand later in the third quarter or early in the fourth quarter.

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Reporter: Paphamon Arayasukawat
Rewriter: Paphamon Arayasukawat
National News Bureau & Public Relations: http://thainews.prd.go.th

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