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Thai economy slowed in May as resurgent virus sapped recovery

Economic indicators showed the Thai economy slowed in May from the previous month, after the third wave of Covid-19 emerged in April.

However, the economy continued to grow from the same period last year, driven by exports, the Finance Ministry’s Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) reported.

Private consumption in May expanded from the same period last year but slowed compared to the previous month. May’s Consumer Confidence Index also dropped to 44.7 from 46.0 in April, as worry over the resurgent virus trumped fresh government aid measures. However, private consumption was supported by real farm income that continued to expand at 12.5 per cent per year.

Exports also expanded by an 11-year high of 41.6 per cent from the same period last year.

Figures for tourism in May showed 6,052 arrivals on Special Tourist Visas (STVs), including businesspeople and Thailand Privilege Cardholders. Most were from the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Asean, while domestic tourism grew by 140.2 per cent from last year’s low base.

The FPO said economic stability remained sound in May, although prices rose. This was reflected by the headline inflation rate of 2.4 per cent and the core inflation of 0.5 per cent.

Meanwhile, the public debt/GDP ratio at the end of April stood at 54.9 per cent, which is still within the statutory 60 per cent limit.

Thailand’s external stability remains stable, said the FPO, and can withstand risks from global economic volatility since international reserves were high at $251.8 billion at the end of May.

Published : June 28, 2021

By : The Nation