Economy to shrink 7-9% but export picture rosier: JSCCIB
Thailand’s economy will shrink by 7-9 per cent this year but has passed through its lowest point in the Covid-19 crisis, the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) said on Wednesday.
Kalin Sarasin, JSCCIB chairman, said economic momentum would continue through the end of the year after hitting rock-bottom in the second quarter. Thailand recorded its worst slump since the 1997 financial crisis earlier this year as the lockdown and travel ban battered the economy.
Kalin said the recovery was down to Thailand’s success in dealing with the virus, plus government stimulus measures such as schemes to boost domestic tourism.
However, he also warned that recovery in the fourth quarter would be disrupted if there was a second wave of infections.
Other factors that could affect the Thai economy were a strong baht and foreign politics, especially in the US where the presidential election is due next month.
The JSCCIB forecasts the economy will contract by 7-9 per cent and inflation fall 1-1.5 per cent this year.
For exports it sees a rosier picture, raising the 2020 forecast from a drop of 10-12 per cent to a drop of 8-10 per cent.