Economy contracts 4.2% y/y in Q4, less than expected

Economy contracts 4.2% y/y in Q4, less than expected

FILE PHOTO: Customers exit Japan's Tokyu Department Store in Bangkok after the company decided to close its Thai operation following a wave of financial difficulties, on Jan 31, 2021. (AFP)
FILE PHOTO: Customers exit Japan's Tokyu Department Store in Bangkok after the company decided to close its Thai operation following a wave of financial difficulties, on Jan 31, 2021. (AFP)

Thailand's economy shrank less than expected in the final quarter of the year as domestic activity and exports recovered after coronavirus curbs were eased, but a travel ban imposed since April has kept most foreign visitors away.

The economy contracted 4.2% in the December quarter from a year earlier, data from the National Economic and Social Development Council showed on Monday, versus a forecast 5.4% drop in a Reuters poll.

On a quarterly basis, gross domestic product (GDP) expanded a seasonally adjusted 1.3% in the December quarter, better than the 0.8% growth forecast by economists.

In July-September, GDP declined 6.4% from a year earlier but grew a revised 6.2% against the prior quarter.

In 2020, the economy contracted 6.1%, the sharpest fall since 1998, and compared with analysts' forecast of a 6.4% drop.

The agency now predicts GDP will expand 2.5-3.5% this year, having previously forecast growth of 3.5-4.5%, after a fresh Covid-19 outbreak hit the economy in December.

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