The ASEAN-6 economies have experienced a surge in Covid-19 cases since the start of 2021, which has led to the reinstatement of social distancing measures.
Thailand has recorded over 120,000 cases since April against less than 7,000 in all of 2020. At the other end of the spectrum Singapore and Vietnam averaged 5 and 1.1 per million new cases a day in May, which is still very low regionally and globally. In the case
This has dimmed, but not derailed the regional economic recovery; we have lowered our 2021 GDP growth forecast to 4.9% (from 5.5% previously). Our forecast is for growth to improve to 6.5% in 2022 as countries move closer to herd immunity and the recovery becomes more synchronised across sectors.
After being lauded for their successful containment of Covid-19 in 2020, the ASEAN-6 economies have experienced a surge in cases since the start of the year.
New daily cases in Malaysia are currently above the peak reached during the first wave and an infection rate of over 235 cases per million at the time of writing is higher than in India.
But while hospital capacity is becoming stretched, the humanitarian cost has not been as large.
We expect sequential GDP growth to be weaker in Q2 than in Q1 across most economies in the region as tighter restrictions will hit already fragile sectors exposed to social distancing measures or household ‘social spending’. Positively, global trade continues to recover, which is providing some support to the region.
Assuming some restrictions are eased from June, we expect stronger sequential growth in H2. However, given the slow pace of vaccinations, with the exception of Singapore, we expect the recovery will be bumpy, and the risk of further periods of heightened restrictions remains. The rise in uncertainty is also likely to lead to further economic scarring.
Youth unemployment hits new highs in Thailand due to COVID-19 restrictions
BANGKOK, Thailand (ILO news) – Joblessness among young men and women in Thailand has reached a level unseen in recent years due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new brief from the International Labour Organization (ILO).
Thai Chamber of Commerce expects GDP to grow by 1.5% in 2021
With the relaxation of Covid restriction measures and the reopening of Thailand, 200,000 to 300,000 foreign tourists were now expected to visit Thailand this year and contribute to approximately 12 billion baht of income.
The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce’s economic forecasting center now expects the Thai economy to expand by 1.5% this year, owing to various government measures to stimulate the economy.(more…)
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