Thailand’s economic contraction will be lesser than the previous forecasts, according to the country’s finance minister. The economy is expected to contract this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith told the media, “GDP will be negative this year, but less than expected due to a recovery in consumption,” the minister told reporters, noting revenue was coming from exports with foreign tourism still shut and adding that “foreign exchange policy should support exporters.”
The finance ministry has forecasted an economic contraction of 7.7 percent in 2020 due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The forecast comes at a time when thousands of citizens are protesting on the streets of Thailand for the removal of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and a new constitution.
During the end of the second quarter, experts forecasted Thailand’s economy to contract by 8.9 percent this year, despite the country lifting restrictions introduced earlier to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. Amonthep Chawla, Head of the Research Office at CIMB THAI Bank said that Thailand’s economy was still far from showing signs of recovery even though the country was heading towards the fourth phase of lockdown easing.
Thailand’s economy, which is the second-largest in Southeast Asia, has suffered the worst economic contraction in 22 years due to the coronavirus pandemic. To support economic revival, Thailand opened its market for foreign tourists last month. The country has received its first foreign vacationers, gradually resuming its tourism sector.