COVID-19 causes about one trillion baht in damage to Thai economy

Photo by Mladen ANTONOV / AFP

The overall damage Thailand’s national economy, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, is currently estimated at about one trillion baht, while business confidence for the first quarter of this year has dropped to 47.2, which is the lowest in almost two years, according to the forecast by the Centre for Economic and Business Forecasts of the University of Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC).

The centre conducted a survey of businesses between March 23rd and April 17th, asking about their confidence in the national economy, currently suffering from lockdown measures, including suspension of the visa on arrival facility for tourists and a temporary ban on all incoming flights.

Assistant Professor Thanawat Pholvichai, UTCC rector and advisory chairman at the centre, said today that, although damage could not yet be accurately assessed, harm to the overall Thai economy is estimated at about one trillion baht.

Mr. Surong Bulakul, vice president of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, said that lockdown measures have deprived many people of all, or part of their usual earnings, hence, reducing their purchasing power.

Compounded by increased competition from online traders, he said that confidence in the state of the national economy has fallen to the lowest level in nearly two years.

He suggested that the Government accelerates the relaxation of restrictions, to allow businesses to reopen so that people can return to work and earn an income.

Mr. Pramote Manopibul, assistant to the vice chairman of CP All, which oversees the operations of all Seven-Eleven convenience stores in Thailand, admitted that the retail business has been hit hard by people’s reduced purchasing power and the sharp drop in the number of foreign tourists, adding that the company is ready to make adjustments in line with the situation and in response to the behavioral changes of consumers.


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