Finance Ministry to adjust growth rate in April in light of virus outbreak


Thailand’s Finance Ministry will adjust the country’s growth rate projection for 2020 in April in the wake of several negative factors, including COVID-19 outbreaks in several countries, which have started to affect the country’s tourism sector.

Wutthipong Chittangsakul, deputy director of the Fiscal Policy Office of the Finance Ministry, admitted today that it was highly possible that the forecast of 41.1 million tourist arrivals for this year will not be met, although the full impacts from COVID-19 cannot be accurately assessed for the time being.

He said that it was still unpredictable whether the global outbreaks would ease off in the next three months as earlier anticipated, because it depends on the capabilities of each country to cope with the disease.

He noted, however, positive signs in the Thai export sector, which increased by 3.4% in the month of January, in line with an increasing demand for Thai products, such as motorcycles and spare parts, furniture and sugar, from its major trading partners, namely Singapore, the United States and China.

Other positive factors are the disbursement of 2020 budget and the weakening of the baht currency, which will help boost exports, said Wutthipong.

He pointed out, however, that private investment in the industrial and agricultural sectors is slowing down.



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