Caretaker PM voices concern over economy, tourism sector


BANGKOK, April 22 — Caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Monday posted a message on her Facebook page, expressing worry about the impact of political crisis on the economy, particularly the tourism sector. 

In her message on Facebook, Ms Yingluck said she was concerned about the adverse impact of the current political crisis on the overall economy, as well as the country’s financial health, especially budget management for the 2014-2015 fiscal year which has been disrupted by the political deadlock which has lasted for more than six months.

The caretaker premier said that many key economic indicators in February have continued to show downward trends, especially household spending, private sector investment and industrial production.

The National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) has adjusted its economic outlook projection, lowering the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth for this year from 4-5 per cent to 3-4 per cent, she said.

Financial institutions have also forecast the country’s economic growth at only 1-2 per cent, she added.

Ms Yingluck pointed out that the tourism sector, which previously enjoyed continuous high growth, has become worrisome as the number of inbound tourists has dropped.

The number of travellers at Suvarnabhumi Airport has declined by 20 per cent, and at Don Mueang Airport by 14 per cent.

She said the 2014 fiscal budget was delayed for six months so that it cannot be used to stimulate the economy as planned.  

Revenue collection has also missed its target, particularly the Value Added Tax (VAT), because the public has reduced spending, she said.

Ms Yingluck urged the economic agencies to closely follow up the key economic indicators to evaluate and address the problems.

She is optimistic that with cooperation from all agencies concerned, investor confidence could be restored and the economy could eventually expand.