Eased restrictions and return of foreign tourists improves Thai economy

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Thailand resumed its quarantine waiver this month after a brief suspension imposed amid uncertainty about the severity of the Omicron variant, which slowed economic activity in January.

The Bank of Thailand has said the Thai economy improved in February following a moderate slow down the previous month, owing to an easing of coronavirus curbs and a resumption of a quarantine waiver for foreign tourists.

According to Chayawadee Chai-Anant, a senior BOT director, the Russia-Ukraine crisis is likely to push up inflation and cause global financial volatility, but Thailand’s external stability remains good.

She added that the impact of a recent spike in COVID-19 cases has been within estimates, while the momentum of a stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter could help the economy grow more than the 3.4% earlier forecast for this year.

Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy expanded 1.6% last year, returning to growth in the final quarter of the year, following a 6.2% contraction in 2020.



Thailand resumed its quarantine waiver this month after a brief suspension imposed amid uncertainty about the severity of the Omicron variant, which slowed economic activity in January.
In January, private consumption dropped 0.4% from the previous month and private investment fell 0.7%.

Exports, a key driver of growth, rose at a much slower pace of 7.9% in January from a year earlier, with imports up 18.4% year-on-year, giving a trade surplus of $0.6 billion.

Thailand recorded a current account deficit of $2.2 billion in January after a deficit of $1.4 billion in December. (NNT)