Thai central bank forecasts economic growth in Q2

Xinhua News Agency | Oct 1, 2020 at 3:40 PM

BANGKOK, Oct. 1 (Xinhua) -- Thailand's central bank on Thursday said in a press briefing that it forecasts the economy to take a turn for growth in the second quarter next year, supported by government stimulus measures.

The Bank of Thailand (BoT) assumed that government stimulus measures and the special tourist visa (STV) scheme drives recovery momentum and improves domestic consumption, said Don Nakornthab, senior director of BoT's economic and policy department.

The government-sponsored STV scheme stipulates that foreign visitors to Thailand are required to have a COVID-19 test taken 72 hours before departure, and have a 100,000-U.S. dollar insurance.

These foreign visitors must also sign a letter of consent agreeing to comply with the government's containment measures, as well as go through a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

"The economy is expected to show a better recovery momentum in the third quarter on a quarter-to-quarter basis and return to growth in next year's second quarter," Don said.

Don also said the low-base effect from the second quarter trough this year is another reason the BoT sees growth in next year's second quarter.

Thailand's GDP this year shrank 12.2 percent year-on-year and 9.7 percent quarter-to-quarter on a seasonally adjusted basis in Q2 as the economy sustained heavy blows by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The central bank earlier upgraded its full-year economic outlook to a 7.8-percent contraction from an 8.1-percent decline.

The Thai central bank also said the economy had made a slight improvement in August, propped up by lighter contractions in merchandise export value, manufacturing production and private investment indicators.

The number of Thai people claiming unemployment benefits increased from 410,000 in July to 440,000 in August, according to the Ministry of Labour.

The BoT's data indicated that the ratio of household debt to GDP rose to 84 percent in the second quarter, an 18-year high, with a value of 13.6 trillion baht (430.6 billion U.S. dollars), up from 13.5 trillion baht (427.58 billion U.S. dollars) or 80.3 percent of GDP in the first quarter.