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BOT warns uneven recovery shaken further by new virus wave

Jan 29. 2021
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By The Nation

Economic recovery continued in the fourth quarter of 2020, but remained uneven, said the Bank of Thailand on Friday.

Indicators of private consumption rose due to gradual recovery in household purchasing power, support from government stimulus measures, and the addition of long holidays.  However, despite improvement in overall private consumption, household purchasing power remained vulnerable and uneven across income groups and geographical areas. 

The value of goods exports contracted at a softer pace, following recovery in demand from trade partners. 

Private investment indicators showed expansion, in line with improvement in demand and business sentiment. 

Recovery in domestic and external demand also spurred a softer contraction of manufacturing production. 

Public spending rose from capital expenditures, partly due to the low base effect of the delayed enactment of the 2020 budget last year. However, the tourism sector continued to contract severely due to travel restrictions on foreign tourist arrivals. 

On the stability front, headline inflation was less negative due to price increases for energy and fresh food. Meanwhile, 

core inflation decreased. 

The labour market improved in line with the economic recovery, but remained vulnerable and uneven. 

The current account registered a deficit after a surplus in the previous quarter, as the trade balance recorded a smaller surplus due to gold imports.

Economic recovery continued in December but remained uneven, said the central bank. It added that the new wave of Covid-19 that emerged mid-month had begun to affect some economic activities.

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