Thai economy contracts in the third quarter due to pandemic effects

Thailand’s economy shrank by 0.3 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter, the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC), the government’s planning unit, said Monday.

Thailand saw its gross domestic product (GDP) contract after recording a 7.6-per-cent growth in the second quarter, the council’s secretary-general Anucha Phichayanan said.

For the first nine months of 2021, Thailand’s GDP rose by 1.3 per cent. 

Anucha said the NESDC expects the Thai economy to grow by 1.2 per cent for the entire year, partially backed by the return of foreign tourists to revive the lacklustre tourism industry. 

“Headline inflation is estimated to be [up] 1.2 per cent and the current account is projected to record a deficit of 2.5 percent of GDP,” the NESDC said.

In 2020, Thailand’s economy contracted by 6.1 per cent due to a government-mandated shutdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Since the reopening to vaccinated visitors from November 1, Thailand has seen around 44,800 arrivals from overseas.

Anucha forecast a total of 250,000 arrivals this year, a small total compared to the tens of millions that visited Thailand prior to the pandemic.

The NESDC predicted that the country’s economy in 2022 will rebound and see a growth rate between 3.5 to 4.5 per cent.


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