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  1. #1
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    Incredible Shrinking Economy

    Thai economy sees biggest contraction since Asian financial crisis in second quarter

    Orathai Sriring and Kitiphong Thaichareon
    August 17, 2020, 11:34 AM GMT+7


    FILE PHOTO: A worker stands next to shipping containers on a ship at a port in BangkokBy Orathai Sriring and Kitiphong Thaichareon

    BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand's economy saw its biggest annual contraction in 22 years and a record quarterly fall in the April-June period, as the coronavirus pandemic and restriction measures hit tourism, exports and domestic activity, prompting an outlook downgrade.
    Southeast Asia's second-largest economy, which is heavily reliant on tourism and exports, shrank 12.2% in the second quarter from a year earlier, the worst contraction since the Asian financial crisis in 1998, data from the state planning agency showed.

    But that was better than a 13.3% slump seen in a Reuters poll, and compared with a downwardly revised 2.0% fall in the March quarter.

    On a quarterly basis, the economy shrank a seasonally adjusted 9.7%, the deepest on record, but better than the 11.4% drop forecast by economists.

    The National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) cut its gross domestic product forecast for 2020. It now expects Thailand's economy to shrink by 7.3%-7.8% this year, having previously forecast a 5%-6% contraction.
    "Today's economic release underscores the collapse of aggregate demand, both externally and internally," said Kobsidthi Silpachai, head of capital markets research of Kasikornbank.

    "Recovery will be lengthy as the shock to the demand and supply side has been the most severe in living memory," he said.
    While Thailand has lifted most lockdown restrictions after seeing no local transmission of the coronavirus for over two months, its economy continues to suffer from an ongoing ban on incoming passenger flights and from tepid global demand.

    The number of foreign visitors fell to zero in April-June, and Thailand has also shelved travel bubble plans amid new virus waves.
    The planning agency expects only 6.7 million foreign tourists to come to Thailand this year, down 83% from last year's record 39.8 million.
    The downturn comes despite government efforts to support the economy with a 1.9 trillion baht ($61.03 billion) fiscal stimulus package, while the central bank has also slashed interest rates by 75 basis points so far this year to a record low of 0.50%.

    The impact of the lockdown and the travel ban will continue to affect domestic consumption and investment, with anti-government protests adding to the risks, while exports will remain weak due to soft global demand, analysts say.

    The state planning agency also cut its forecast for exports this year, expecting them to fall 10% in 2020 versus a previous forecast for an 8% decline.
    Majestically enthroned amid the vulgar herd

  2. #2
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    COVID-19 pummels Thai exports, tourism

    BANGKOK (NNT) - The National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) has reported that the Thai economy contracted 12.2 percent in the second quarter of 2020 and is expected to see a 7.5 percent contraction for the entire year, as exports and tourism have been adversely affected by COVID-19 social restrictions, imposed worldwide. If the situation improves, there will be clear signs of economic recovery after the second half of 2021.


    The NESDC Secretary-General, Tossaporn Sirisamphan, said today the country’s economy in the second quarter shrank 12.2. percent year-on-year, after a 6.9 percent decline in the first quarter. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many countries to impose lockdown measures, which have restricted international trade and travel. Since the outbreak, consumption and government investment have buoyed the domestic economy.


    This year, the Thai economy is expected to contract 7.5 percent. The forecast was made on the assumption that there could be a resurgence of COVID-19 infections in the country, but that the situation can be brought under control again. Restrictions on international travel will remain until the end of this year. The speed of economic recovery will depend on vaccine development. If a vaccine is made available by mid-2021, the country would see clear signs of economic recovery after the second half of next year.


    As for the remaining months of 2020, the spending of the 1-trillion-baht loan has to be expedited. Some industrial operators need additional support to avoid bad debts rising, and more measures to help tourism businesses and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are necessary.


    The NESDC and the Ministry of Finance will attend a meeting on August 19 to finalize proposals and discuss ways to prevent the political situation from causing damage to the economy.

    http://thainews.prd.go.th/en/news/de...00818143854038

  3. #3
    Thailand Expat jabir's Avatar
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    Some of our glorious leaders are chuckling all the way to their offshore accounts.

  4. #4
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