Thai economy set bottom-out after Government reopens some businesses
The Thai economy has reached its low point, with the gross domestic product (GDP) forecast to contract by 3% to 5%, instead of 1.5-2% as originally estimated, and exports will shrink between 5% and 10%. The inflation rate is expected hover between 0 and -1.5%, all according to Mr. Suphan Mongkolsuthee, president of the Federation of Thai Industries and chairman of the private sector joint committee.
He explained that the Thai economy reached its low point as the Government eases lockdown restrictions on several business and leisure activities which, he said, will gradually improve the economy.
The grim projections are based on the assumption that there will not be a second round of the COVID-19 pandemic in Thailand, said Mr. Suphan.
He cautioned that, even if the COVID-19 situation in Thailand improves satisfactorily, economic recovery will take a long time, citing the fact that the disease is still spreading in several countries, rendering the quick recovery of tourism and related industries almost impossible.
He added that a global economic recession will dampen Thailand’s export prospects.
The Federation of Thai Industries, the Thai Bankers Association and the Thai Chamber of Commerce have recently proposed a package of 34 measures to the Government, aimed at cushioning the impacts of COVID-19 on private businesses.
The package includes the waiving of corporate tax for SMEs for three years, reduction of fees for land ownership transfers and refunds of electricity meter installation charges for SMEs using 50 amp meters.
Mr. Suphan said that the three private sector bodies will encourage private businesses to buy more agricultural products, such as fruit and vegetables, from farmers.