BANGKOK – Following on from last year, the Thai economy has already suffered from many negative impacts such as the ongoing trade war, national drought disaster, and the appreciating Thai baht, all of which has resulted in only 2.4 percent economic growth. This year, the country’s economy is facing another big concern from the COVID-19 virus situation. With help from the government’s economic measures, the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) is expecting the Thai economy this year to grow just 1.5-2.5 percent.
The NESDB Secretary General Tossaporn Sirisamphan has released the Q4 2019 Thai economic report showing 1.6 percent growth, which is the lowest in 21 quarters. The performance of the final quarter, means 2019 economic growth of 2.4 percent overall.
The NESDB cited the global economic slowdown, the U.S.-China trade war, strong Thai currency, budget bill delays, and the drought disaster to be the main affecting factors.
This year, the NESDB is projecting 1.5-2.5 percent growth, which has been reduced from the previous 2.7-3.7 percent estimate. This is due to the effects of the COVID-19 virus expected to remove at least 150 billion baht’s revenue from the tourism industry, should the situation be under control by March.
Drought disaster and government budget delays also play their part. The slowly recovering global economy and trade are expected to provide a positive push as the U.S.-China trade war is slowly resolving itself, and Brexit concerns are more relaxed. These aspects are expected to help the export sector grow by 1.4 percent.
Internal factors, resulting from the government’s economic measures and investments are expected to help propel the economy, with government investments expected to grow at 3.5 percent, and private investments expected to grow at 3.6 percent. Household consumption is also expected to grow as well.