Growth may be less than 1% in Q1: Somkid

Growth may be less than 1% in Q1: Somkid

File photo: Deputy Premier Somkid Jatusripitak speaks at the Post Today Economic Forum 2020 in Bangkok on Feb 6. (Bangkok Post photo)
File photo: Deputy Premier Somkid Jatusripitak speaks at the Post Today Economic Forum 2020 in Bangkok on Feb 6. (Bangkok Post photo)

A key government official has painted a bleak picture for the immediate outlook for Thailand’s economy.

Growth could be less than 1% in January through March from a year ago, mainly because of the chilling impact of the novel coronavirus outbreak on tourism, according to Deputy Premier Somkid Jatusripitak.

Expansion in the fourth quarter of last year may be less than 2%, Mr Somkid told reporters in Bangkok on Wednesday.

“The economy slowed in the fourth quarter and the impact from the coronavirus, especially a sharp fall in Chinese tourists, will hurt it hard in the first quarter,” he said.

The government is considering steps to spur domestic tourism and consumption, he said. Disbursements from the delayed budget may start in April, and the economy is likely to pick up in the second half, Mr Somkid added.



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