Finance Ministry projects 2.8% GDP growth this year


BANGKOK  –The Finance Ministry revises its economic growth prediction downwards from 3.3% to 2.8% this year due mainly to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Finance Ministry spokesman Lavaron Sangsnit said the outbreak affected tourism as the global economic growth slowed down to 3.1%. However, the ministry still believed that the gross domestic product growth would be better than 2.5% last year.

The coronavirus outbreak added to negative factors like economic slowdowns in the United States, Japan, Vietnam and China, he said.

According to Mr Lavaron, the number of visitors will be declining in the next three months, from the normal level of 800,000 a month. Usually visitors spend 50,000 baht each a month. To cope, the Finance Ministry will work out measures to stimulate domestic tours.

Besides, the government is preparing its investment projects so that they can start right when the 2020 budget bill is legalized. Government investment would boost investment in the private sector, Mr Lavaron said.

For exports, the Finance Ministry saw a growth pace of 1% this year, compared with a 3.2% decline last year, he said.

Mr Lavaron said important factors were the coronavirus, the Chinese economy, trade negotiation between China and the United States, Brexit, interest rates in developed countries and investment in the private sector.