Columnnist

Chartchai Parasuk

Freelance economist

Chartchai Parasuk, PhD, is a freelance economist.

Chartchai Parasuk
22 Jul 2021

A Wuhan lockdown will not work here

Originally, I planned to write an article titled "Will it be a soft landing or hard landing?" which would have been about the future of the world's financial markets and the economy.

22 Jul 2021 36
A Wuhan lockdown will not work here
8 Jul 2021

Time to accept we can't beat Covid-19

If the government does not wish to see a collapse of society, it must rethink its Covid-19 strategy. First, it must admit that the Covid-19 outbreak is not controllable after the outbreak has changed from the cluster level (individual based) to the community level (activity based).

8 Jul 2021 70
Time to accept we can't beat Covid-19
24 Jun 2021

If jabs don't work, we must have Plan B

What would you do if you were a government facing a (rapidly) falling economy, receding tax income, ballooning public and private debts, drying up domestic liquidity, and feeble economic relief programmes?

24 Jun 2021 65
If jabs don't work, we must have Plan B
10 Jun 2021

A long road to recovery for Thailand

The OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) in last December's forecast raised its global GDP growth forecast for 2021 from 4.2% to 5.8% as of May 2021, primarily due to the achievement of Covid-19 vaccine rollout in developed nations. The GDP growth rate for the US is estimated to be as high as 6.9% this year -- an admirable rise from a contraction of 3.5% last year. The US is not the only economy that benefits from a quick vaccine rollout. The UK economy is projected to grow at an even higher rate of 7.5% in 2021 as more than 40% of its population has been fully vaccinated and about 60% of its population received at least one dose.

10 Jun 2021 25
A long road to recovery for Thailand
27 May 2021

Govt must spend this B500bn wisely

It is now official. An emergency decree authorising the Ministry of Finance to borrow money to solve the economic and social problems arising from the Covid-19 outbreak was published in the Royal Gazette on Tuesday. However, the authorised amount is 500 billion baht, not 700 billion baht as we had heard from various sources. The spending is divided into three categories: 30 billion baht for healthcare management; 300 billion baht for economic relief programmes, and 170 billion baht for economic recovery projects.

27 May 2021 24
Govt must spend this B500bn wisely
13 May 2021

No money left to ease Covid blues

In the second quarter of 2020, the Thai economy shrank as much as 12.1%, resulting in a loss of 610 billion baht in GDP. Such a huge loss was the impact of Covid-19, caused by fear of the pandemic, the impact of strict lockdown measures, and a loss of revenue from foreign tourists.

13 May 2021 40
No money left to ease Covid blues
29 Apr 2021

Money to boost economy tough to find

Wow. What a difference two weeks makes! In my previous article, I wrote, with grave concern, that over 6,000 people had been infected with Covid-19 within just two weeks of the third outbreak. Two weeks later, the number of cases from the third wave alone, which started early this month, has skyrocketed five-fold to over 30,000 cases. Who knows when and how this round will end?

29 Apr 2021 30
Money to boost economy tough to find
15 Apr 2021

New surge a blow to weak economy

Today's article is "breaking news" as I am in the midst of writing a five-part series about the liquidity crisis risk facing the country. I have already published the first two parts of the series -- origins of the risk and experience from 1997 economic crisis. I still have three more articles to go. They are: (1) warning signs of the risk, (2) shielding oneself from the risk, and (3) appropriate macro-economic policy responses. I do not want to break the series because warning signs are getting stronger every day such as the alarming US$8.4 billion (263 billion baht) outflow in March and the 154 billion baht government cash deficit in February.

15 Apr 2021 24
New surge a blow to weak economy
1 Apr 2021

Lessons from the 1997 economic crisis

Today is April Fools' day. But there is no fooling about the threat of liquidity crisis. I am sure that many readers are sceptical about the possibility of a liquidity crunch in this country. First, the government debt to GDP ratio is less than 60% which is not high by international standards. Second, Thailand now, unlike in 1997, has adopted a flexible exchange rate system which has a low risk of currency speculation. And, third, the country has international reserves equivalent to 11 months of imports of goods and services which is two times higher than IMF's suggested requirement. How could an economy this good be at risk?

1 Apr 2021 13
Lessons from the 1997 economic crisis
18 Mar 2021

Thai economy unlikely to bounce back

The world is having great economic news. All international economic agencies have upgraded world economic forecasts for 2021. The latest one is the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) who raises global economic growth forecast from 4.2% (December 2020's forecast) to 5.6% (March 2021's forecast). A higher growth prospect is the result of a fast roll-out of Covid-19 vaccination; super-large US economic stimulus package; and accelerated growth of the Chinese economy. The OECD projected that the US economy would grow by 6.5% while the Chinese economy would expand by 7.8% this year. These two giant economies account for 41% of the world economy. Therefore, high growth from these two countries is likely to induce high economic growth in other economies as well.

18 Mar 2021 44
Thai economy unlikely to bounce back