Ministry raises GDP outlook to -7.7% from -8.5%

Ministry raises GDP outlook to -7.7% from -8.5%

2021 GDP growth seen at 4.5%, exports to increase 6%

Workers decorate a banner highlighting the ‘Super Coupon Super Save’ promotion at the Robinson Department Store on Rama IV Road on Oct 2. (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)
Workers decorate a banner highlighting the ‘Super Coupon Super Save’ promotion at the Robinson Department Store on Rama IV Road on Oct 2. (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)

The Finance Ministry on Thursday upgraded its 2020 gross domestic product forecast to a 7.7% contraction, still a record, from the 8.5% decline projected earlier, helped by government measures to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The ministry also increased its 2020 estimate for exports, a key driver of growth, to a fall of 7.8% from an earlier 11% drop, deputy ministry spokesman Pornchai Theeravet told a news conference.

The government has announced a 1.9-trillion-baht coronavirus response package to support Southeast Asia's second-largest economy, which shrank the most in 22 years in the second quarter, with tourism badly hit.

Stimulus measures introduced in the current quarter to boost consumption should increase GDP by 0.54%, he said.

"The current stimulus measures are sufficient for now, but the government is ready to implement more if necessary," Mr Pornchai said.

The ministry forecast 6.7 million foreign tourists this year before rising to 8 million next year, he said.

Thailand has recently started to allow tourists to enter only on long-stay visas that also require quarantine, but those tourism officials have said those visitors would represent only a fraction of the pre-crisis numbers.

Last year, the tourism-driven country welcomed a record 39.8 million tourists whose spending made up 11.4% of GDP.

Growing political protests have yet to affect the economy as domestic activity still continues, Mr Pornchai said.

For 2021, the ministry predicts the economy will grow 4.5% versus a previous forecast range of 4.0-5.0% growth. It expects exports, also a key growth driver, to increase 6.0%, rather than rise 5.0% projected previously.

Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (7)

No-coup pledge

Thousands of protesters turn Lat Phrao intersection into a picnic ground as they deliver a serious message against military coups.

21:11

Five-star boredom

Two weeks in a five-star hotel in Pattaya might not sound bad, except when you can't go outside or interact with anyone other than health workers, says Thai returnee Emmy Sasipornkarn.

19:12

Malaysia in vaccine pact with Pfizer

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia on Friday signed an agreement with Pfizer Inc to obtain its Covid-19 vaccine for 20% of the population as it battles a resurgence of coronavirus infections.

18:53