Thai central bank likely to slash GDP forecasts

27 April, 2021 12:00 AM printer

BANGKOK: Thailand’s central bank is likely to slash its economic growth outlook for this year and next year as the country struggles with a rapidly spreading third wave of Covid-19 infections.

The new outbreak, driven in part by the highly transmissible B117 variant, has caused over 26,000 cases and 46 deaths in just 25 days, dealing a blow to the tourism-reliant nation’s efforts to reopen to foreign visitors, report agencies.

Growth projections made in March had assumed that Thailand would be able to gradually reopen to vaccinated foreign tourists without requiring quarantine measures in the fourth quarter, senior central bank director Sakkapop Panyanukul told the Longtunman YouTube Channel late on Saturday. “Given the current outbreak and vaccine efficacy, I must say that assumption is difficult,” he said, adding that forecasts for 3 per cent GDP growth this year and 4.7 per cent next year will likely “have to be reduced quite a lot”.