Top business group retains 2022 GDP outlook despite Omicron

Top business group retains 2022 GDP outlook despite Omicron

FILE PHOTO: Supant Mongkolsuthree, chairman of Federation of Thai Industries (Photo supplied)
FILE PHOTO: Supant Mongkolsuthree, chairman of Federation of Thai Industries (Photo supplied)

Thailand’s leading joint business group on Wednesday said it has maintained its economic growth forecast at 3.0% to 4.5% this year, despite a rise in coronavirus infections driven by the Omicron variant.

While the virus outbreak had slowed economic activity early in the year, the overall impact is not expected to be severe, said the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCBI). 

However, higher inflation is a concern since it could hit 3% in the first half and mean the economy expands less than expected, Federation of Thai Industries chairman Supant Mongkolsuthree told a news conference.

Headline inflation was at 2.17% in December.

The group is sticking to its forecast for foreign tourist arrivals of 5 million to 6 million this year, waiting to see the results of a resumption of a 'Test & Go' quarantine waiver, said Mr Supant, who is also head of the Federation of Thai Industries.

The figure compares with the nearly 40 million tourist arrivals recorded in 2019 before the pandemic. There were just about 428,000 foreign tourists in 2021. 

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