BANGKOK – World Bank predicts Thailand’s economy to contract 3-5 percent this year due to the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Covid-19 crisis had affected Thailand’s main economic engine – exports and tourism – that could cause the economy to shrink by 3-5 percent, Birgit Hansl, the World Bank Country Manager for Thailand, said on Thursday.
Developing countries in East Asia and the Pacific that were recovering from trade tensions now faced with the pressure from the crisis could lead to a 0.5 percent contraction of Southeast Asian economies, she said.
Covid-19 pandemic would potentially lead to an economic shock, undermining the attempts to eradicate poverty in the region, she said. The World Bank estimated 11 million more people would be pushed into poverty, said Hansl.
Earlier last week, the Bank of Thailand (BOT) forecast the economy to shrink by 5.3% this year, the first contraction since the 2008 global financial crisis. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the BOT predicted 2.8 percent economic growth for 2020.
Hansl said the World Bank recommended an urgent investment on long-term public health service. (TNA)