The Thai economy may expand less than forecast this year, after a third wave of the Covid-19 infections and concerns about the presence of a highly contagious variant.
Bank of Thailand (BoT) senior director Chayawadee Chai-Anant said the current economic forecast, which was downgraded last month, has yet to include the impact of the new outbreak. However, in the worst case scenario, the economy might contract sharply like last year, if there were issues with variants and vaccines efficacy.
The tourism-reliant economy suffered the deepest slump in over two decades last year, down 6.1%, due to the impact of the pandemic, with the key tourism sector still struggling. As uncertainties remain, there is a risk that growth could be less than the Bank of Thailand’s 3% forecast this year.
According to the central bank, the economy in the January-March period might have contracted from the previous three months and the same period a year earlier, as a second coronavirus wave slowed activity. Inflation should be close to the lower end of the 1-3% target range from the second quarter. (NNT)