IMF: Thai GDP down 6.7%

IMF: Thai GDP down 6.7%

The IMF downgraded the economic forecast for Thailand in 2020 to a contraction of 6.7%, making it the worst performer among its Asean peers if the multinational lender's projection holds true. The revision is attributed to the economic toll of the coronavirus.

Despite this, the IMF raised its estimate for Thailand's economic growth to 6.1% next year, according to the "World Economic Outlook: The Great Lockdown" report released yesterday.

The IMF in January predicted the Thai economy will expand 2.5% this year and 3.5% in 2021.

The Bank of Thailand trimmed the country's 2020 growth outlook last month to a 5.3% contraction from a 2.8% expansion after the coronavirus spread escalated. The central bank also predicted a contraction in every quarter, with the deepest from April to June.

On Tuesday, Thai Bankers' Association (TBA) said the Thai economy could suffer a loss of 1.3 trillion baht, representing 7.7% of GDP, because of damage from the spiralling coronavirus, on par with the economic contraction from the financial crisis of 1997.

The association also warned the economic slump could deepen if the outbreak cannot be contained by the end of the second quarter.

According to the IMF's table, Singapore, Malaysia and Cambodia are projected to have their economies shrink by 3.5%, 1.7% and 1.6%, respectively, in 2020.

Vietnam has emerged as the Asean's best performer in the report at 2.7% growth, followed by Myanmar at 1.8% growth.

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