Thailand's economy shrank again in the third quarter, but the extent was smaller than predicted. This shows that the second-largest economy in Southeast Asia has not deviated from the recovery track. Due to the improvement of the epidemic situation in COVID-19, economic activities have gradually recovered since the end of August, and the borders have been opened recently. It is expected that the Thai economy will rebound in the fourth quarter.
According to the data released by the National Economic and Social Development Commission of Thailand on Monday, strict epidemic prevention measures hit domestic consumption and troubled tourism, and the gross domestic product (GDP) in the third quarter dropped by 0.3% year-on-year, but the decline was less than the predicted 0.8%. Compared with the previous three months, it shrank by 1.1%.
Zhang Danucha, secretary of the State Economic and Social Development Commission, said that with the continuous relaxation of epidemic control in COVID-19 and the reopening of the country to foreign tourists from November 1st, it is predicted that the economic growth will be 0.7% to 1.2% this year and 3.5% to 4.5% next year. Previously, the agency predicted a growth of 0.7% to 1.2% this year.
The authorities predict that next year, the number of arrivals will reach 5 million, and the tourism revenue will reach 440 billion baht (about 18.1 billion Singapore dollars).
The Ministry of Finance of Thailand predicted on the same day that the economy could grow by 1% in 2021 and 4% in 2022. The Bank of Thailand's forecast is 0.7% and 3.9%.
Natapeng, an economist at Kaitai Bank, said that Thailand's economy seems to be recovering, but factors such as rising oil prices and monsoon floods, as well as travelers' caution about the epidemic still put pressure on the Thai economy. "The economic recovery will continue, but it will be slow.