The World Bank warns that the Thai economy can shrink by 8.3% this year and may take nearly three years to recover.
The message is a part of the World Bank’s Economic Update for East Asia and the Pacific for October.
The report said that the economy of this region would grow by only 0.9% this year, its slowest pace since 1967. China’s economy will expand by 2% because it contained the coronavirus disease 2019 in March and has increased government investments since.
Meanwhile, the economies of other countries in the region will contract by 3.5% on average. The Thai economy can shrink by 8.3-10.4% this year, according to the World Bank.
Birgit Hansl, World Bank Country Manager for Thailand, said Thailand would survive the COVID-19 crisis because it well controlled the disease and helped affected people. She suggested the Thai government balance health policies against economic ones, improve economic stimulus measures to better reach target groups and maintain employment.
Kiatipong Ariyapruchya, World Bank’s senior country economist for Thailand, said the Thai gross domestic product this year could fall by 10.4% if the country faced the second wave of COVID-19 in addition to flooding and political uncertainty.
The 8.3% contraction would take two years for GDP recovery to the pre-COVID level but it would take as long as three years if the contraction rate reached 10.4%, he said.
The World Bank’s report also stated that poverty in the region tended to rise for the first time in 20 years with the number of the poor to reach 38 million this year and COVID-19 was creating a class of “new poor”. (TNA)