World Bank lowers Thailand’s economic outlook to 2.2%

THE World Bank has lowered its outlook on Thailand’s economic growth this year to 2.2%, while the country’s export sector is expected to grow at 7.3%, NNT said yesterday (July 15).

In the Thailand Economic Monitor ‘The Road to Recovery’ released yesterday, the World Bank adjusted its outlook on Thailand’s economic growth this year to just 2.2% from its previous forecast of 3.4%, due to the impact of the new wave of Covid-19 cases.

The World Bank’s Country Manager for Thailand, Birgit Hansl said the economic shock associated with Covid-19 has adversely affected employment, incomes, and poverty, but the government’s comprehensive social protection response has been impressive in mitigating its impact.

With the country’s economy relying heavily on tourism, the World Bank now expects the number of international visitors to Thailand to be only around 600,000 people, a stark contrast to the pre-pandemic figure of 40 million in 2019.

Thailand’s economy is however expected to be supported by the export sector throughout the year from the increase in demand for global goods. The export sector is projected to grow at 7.3% this year.

Thailand’s public debt this year is expected to increase to 59.3% from 49.4% last year, and is expected to continue increasing to 62.1% in 2022. The country is still expected to have adequate liquidity to cope with the increase in the debt ratio.

The World Bank’s report suggest Thailand should urgently help those affected by the Covid-19 crisis, especially vulnerable people and informal workers, and to progress further with the vaccination campaign to allow economic activity to return to the pre-pandemic level.

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