[UPDATE-1] Thailand’s GDP contracts -6.4 per cent in the third quarter

The Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) said on Monday that Thailand’s GDP in the third quarter saw a contraction of 6.4 per cent, improving from the previous quarter‘s 12.1 per cent contraction. 

Danucha Pichayanan, the Secretary General of NESDC, said that the improving numbers meant that this year’s projection has been revised to -6 percent from -7.8 to -7.3 per cent.

The key factor for the improvement came from growing exports and services, investment from private sector, and improved consumption expenditure.

Government spending and public investment has also continued to expand.

“This year’s projection has improved, … but this figure is based on the assumption that there is no second wave of coronavirus outbreak,” said Danucha.

For the nine-months period, The GDP has shrunk by 6.7 per cent year-on-year. 

NESDC expects exports in 2020 to contract -7.5 per cent from the previous estimate of -10.2 per cent. For 2021, the exports would grow 4.2 per cent accordingly.  

Pheu Thai’s response

Pichai Naripthaphan, Deputy Leader of Pheu Thai Party, said on Monday that Thai economy in the third quarter is still continuing to contract and the outlook is not as compelling as what the government had said to calm the situation down.

The Thai economy is set to be the most negative in East Asia this year with more businesses closing, the unemployment rate rising, as well as an increase of Non-Performing Loans (NPLs), said the deputy leader.

Pichai also suggested Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow and newly appointed Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith to read foreign reports which analyses how the Thai economy will be worse than the 1997 crisis.

As for the government’s schemes to stimulate the economy, Pichai said that he didn’t share the same optimism towards the cash-handout programs at all and that they are all miscalculated.

“The policies are just for campaigning, but they will not be able to significantly solve economic problems.” Pichai added.

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