Government downgrades projected growth due to third Covid wave

The Ministry of Finance on Thursday cut Thailand’s economic growth projection to 2.3 per cent, down from the earlier 2.8 per cent in January, dragged down by fewer foreign arrivals as reopening plans would likely be postponed due to the latest Covid-19 wave.

“Thai economy this year has been affected by a resurgence of Covid-19 outbreaks in many countries, including local infections,” said Kulaya Tantitemit, director-general at the Fiscal Policy Office (FPO).

Economic activities and international travel would see a negative impact, said Kulaya, slashing the predicted number of foreign tourists to 2 million from the earlier 5 million.

The FPO’s report on the economic situation in March from FPO shows 6,737 foreign arrivals via the Special Tourist Visa and Thailand Privilege Card, mostly from the United States, Germany, United Kingdom, and China.

According to the monthly economic reports, Thailand saw 7,649 and 5,741 foreign tourists in January and February, respectively, bringing the total to 20,127 in the first quarter.

However, the recovery in trade partners’ economies could drive exports to grow 11 per cent and imports at 16 per cent year-on-year, Kulaya added.

In January, the FPO had revised down its forecast for economic growth over 2021, from an earlier 4.5-per-cent prediction in October, to 2.8 per cent, due to the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic in December.

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