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Thailand Q1 slump eases, outlook cut as COVID-19 woes linger


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2021-05-17T024738Z_1_LYNXNPEH4G02G_RTROPTP_4_THAILAND-ECONOMY.JPG

FILE PHOTO: A girl walks past a Skytrain (Bangkok Mass Transit System) construction site in Bangkok, Thailand May 13, 2018. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

 

By Orathai Sriring and Kitiphong Thaichareon

 

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand's economy shrank in the first quarter as coronavirus outbreaks hurt consumption and tourism, but the fall was less than expected helped by stronger non-agricultural output and exports.

 

Southeast Asia's second-largest economy contracted 2.6% in the March quarter from a year earlier, data from the National Economic and Social Development Council showed on Monday, versus a forecast 3.3% drop in a Reuters poll.

 

On a quarterly basis, gross domestic product (GDP) rose a seasonally adjusted 0.2% in the first quarter, beating the 0.8% drop forecast by economists.

 

In the final quarter of 2020, the economy shrank 4.2% from a year earlier but expanded a revised 1.1% on the quarter.

 

The planning agency downgraded its economic growth outlook for a second time this year to 1.5%-2.5% from 2.5%-3.5% seen three months ago due to the latest wave of infections, the country's biggest so far.

 

The latest outbreak, which started in April and has accounted for more than two thirds of Thailand's total infections, has crimped domestic activity amid the country's slow vaccine rollout as it was preparing to reopen more broadly to foreign visitors.

 

Increased exports, a key growth driver, have lent some support, however.

 

The NESDC now expects exports to rise 10.3% this year, rather than increase 5.8%.

 

But it forecasts just half a million foreign tourists this year, down from an earlier forecast of 3.2 million arrivals. That compared with nearly 40 million foreign visitors in 2019.

 

The government has supported the economy with various stimulus measures and earlier this month approved an additional relief package worth 255 billion baht to help people cope with the latest outbreak.

 

($1 = 31.36 baht)

 

(Reporting by Orathai Sriring, Kitiphong Thaichareon, Satawasin Staporncharnchai; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

 

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2021-05-17
 
 
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unfortunately its not going to get any better i can't see tourists coming for a long time until they have the virus under control and with the baht resisting change its not going to help but they know better 

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48 minutes ago, webfact said:

But it forecasts just half a million foreign tourists this year, down from an earlier forecast of 3.2 million arrivals.

 

I recall a few TV posters said Thailand would be lucky to get 1million tourists, and now the forecast is 500,000.

 

How low will it go?

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11 hours ago, webfact said:

On a quarterly basis, gross domestic product (GDP) rose a seasonally adjusted 0.2% in the first quarter, beating the 0.8% drop forecast by economists.

Are these financial wizzos  seriously suggesting the 1st qtr of this year was a 0.2% rise on last year when they had basically full tourism for 3 months  ? Some serious accounting 'seasonal adjustment' fiddles going on there by someone.

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