Thailand’s GDP growth forecast to drop this year from 2.8% to 1.6% due to COVID-19

(Photo by PORNCHAI KITTIWONGSAKUL / AFP)

Thailand’s economic growth rate projection for this year is expected to shrink from to 1.6%, from 2.8%, due to the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the latest forecast by the Economic and Business Forecast Centre of the Thai Chamber of Commerce University.

The report says that many more people have been infected by coronavirus during the third wave, which started on April 1st,prompting the government to impose several preventive measures and restrictions.

It said that the number of foreign tourists visiting Thailand this year is expected to fall to about 2.8 million, from an earlier projection of 4 million, because of the new wave of infections.

The forecast is based on the assumption that the government can contain the pandemic within two months, said the report, noting that the 1.2% decrease in the growth projection translates into a 200 billion baht economic loss per month.

The TCCU’s think tank, however, said that the weakening of the Thai baht, averaging 30.80 baht per US dollar for the whole year, will help boost Thai exports, which are forecast to expand by 4.7% for the whole year, instead of 3.5% as previously projected.

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