Exports, drought, tourism pull Thailand’s economy growth to 1.1% in GDP


BANGKOK (TNA) The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) revises its projection on the Thai economic growth downwards from 2.8% to 1.1% this year on the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic while consumers’ confidence was the lowest in 21 years in February.

UTCC president Thanavath Phonvichai said the university’s gross domestic product revision was based on COVID-19 spreading in regions and affecting tourism, exports and global trade. Besides, drought was affecting farm prices and people’s purchasing power and the country was experiencing political instability, he said.

The university predicted that exports would fall by 1% instead of growing by 0.8% as earlier anticipated. Tourism-related income would drop by 11.3% because arrivals would be falling. The prediction was based on the condition that the COVID-19 situation is relieved within May. If the critical situation continues until August, the GDP will grow 0.6%, exports will shrink by 1.5% and tourism-related income will fall by 18.9%.

The consumer confidence index in February declined for the 12th consecutive month to 64.8, the lowest in 21 years. Mr Thanavath attributed it to concerns about the spreading COVID-19 especially in the tourism sector, the National Economic and Social Development Council’s report on the lowest GDP growth in 21 quarters in the fourth quarter of 2019 due to the China-United States trade war and the drought-affected agricultural sector.

Other consumers’ sentiment indices fell to 52.5 for confidence in overall economy, 61.4 in job opportunities and 80.4 in future income, Mr Thanavath said. (TNA)