Thailand’s GDP forecast to fall up to 9% this year

Thailand’s GDP is set to fall 7-9%, year-on-year, according to the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking. The fall is, not surprisingly, being fallout from the catastrophic drop in tourism and lower exports.

Kalin Sarasin, chairman of the Board of Trade of Thailand, says the expected contraction was revised downwards from 5-8%. The committee also predicted exports would drop by 10-12% instead of 7-10% this year.

“There was no economic thrust from tourism and exports, stimulus measures were about to end and employment remained fragile.”

“Generally the Thai economy is highly vulnerable regarding exports, tourism and local spending. The Thai economy may contract by a two-digit rate in the second quarter of 2020.”

The JSCCIB expected the Thai economy will continue to contract for the rest of 2020 as the global economy was slowing down with little signs of active recovery, while Covid-19 was spreading in countries. The pandemic continues to pop up again in some countries including, regionally, China, Japan, Vietnam and Hong Kong.

Mr Kalin said the Thai baht was appreciating against the US and other currencies “which would obstruct export competitiveness”.

He suggested Thailand promote wellness tourism, high-value farm products, small and medium-sized enterprises and its status as a trade and investment hub.

Meanwhile the Stock Exchange of Thailand Index fell 4.13 points or 0.31%, closing at 1,333.22 yesterday despite new injections of cash from the US Federal Reserve and rising price of crude oil.

• China’s Shanghai SE Composite Index closed at 3,386.46, up 8.90 points, or 0.26%, while Shenzhen SE Component Index closed at 13,863.13, down 97.79 points, or 0.70%.

• Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index closed at 24,930.58, down 171.96 points, or 0.69%.

• South Korea’s KOSPI Index closed at 2,342.61, up 30.75 points, or 1.33%.

• Taiwan’s TAIEX Index closed at 12,913.50, up 111.20 points, or 0.87%.

SOURCE: Thailand News Agency

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