Bank of Thailand governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput said the coronavirus disease 2019 shocked Thai tourism and the Thai economy would start to grow in the second quarter of next year.
Mr Sethaput who assumed his position on Oct 1 said the number of inbound tourists plunged from nearly 40 million to 6.7 million this year and tourism-related income fell by about 1.6 trillion baht equivalent to 10% of the gross domestic product. He also said that export value in the second quarter of this year was the lowest in 11 years.
The central bank governor said Thai GDP would grow from the second quarter of 2021 and return to its pre-COVID level in the third quarter of 2022. The COVID-19 pandemic would make economic recovery uncertain and it would require times and efficient use of limited resources to solve economic problems, he said.
As the Thai policy rate was the lowest in the region and the lowest ever, the Bank of Thailand was duty-bound to prevent the liquidity condition from obstructing economic recovery, Mr Sethaput said.
He admitted that political demonstrations could affect consumption, tourism and investment. (TNA)