World Bank lowers Thai GDP growth outlook to 2.2% this year


BANGKOK, July 15 (Reuters) – Thailand’s economy is expected to grow 2.2% this year, down from 3.4% forecast earlier, due to the impact of a third wave of infections in the COVID-19 and weak tourism, the World Bank said Thursday. , as the country battles its biggest epidemic to date.

Thailand’s tourism-dependent economy contracted 6.1% last year, its deepest collapse in more than two decades as the tourism sector was devastated by the impact of the pandemic.

“Economic activity is not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2022, and the recovery is expected to be slow and uneven,” the World Bank said in a report.

After registering 40 million foreign tourists in 2019, Thailand is expected to receive just 600,000 arrivals this year, down sharply from previous forecasts of 4 to 5 million, the statement said.

Good exports and the ongoing deployment of fiscal support measures are expected to remain important drivers of overall economic activity, the World Bank said.

The recovery is expected to accelerate in 2022, with GDP growth projected at 5.1%, he said, noting that the risks to growth were biased downward and the outlook remained uncertain.

The GDP outlook for growth of 1.8% this year and 3.9% in 2022 projected by Thailand’s central bank, which recently said growth could fall short of expectations after the latest stricter measures by coronavirus containment. Read more

Given Thailand’s COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts, its public debt level is expected to reach 62% of GDP in 2022, exceeding the government’s target ceiling of 60%, but risks to fiscal sustainability remain manageable, the World Bank said.

Reporting by Orathai Sriring Editing by Ed Davies

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