World Bank cuts Thailand's 2021 GDP growth outlook to 1 pct
The World Bank has lowered Thailand's economic growth projection for 2021 to 1 percent from an earlier estimate of 2.2 percent in July.
The downgrade of the growth forecast reflected a slow pathway toward dealing with the worst COVID-19 outbreak driven by Delta variant together with a delayed reopening to international travelers, the World Bank said in its latest report on Tuesday.
It said the country's economy will expand by 3.6 percent next year but would remain below pre-pandemic levels of output until 2023. Tourism sector will continue to struggle, and broad-base recovery of the sector may take some time to materialize.
Thailand is only expected to receive around 160,000 foreign visitors this year. The bank projected the number of tourist arrivals to rise to 1.7 million next year.
The slow vaccine rollout has continued to negatively impact household economic activities, causing unemployment to rise and difficulties for small businesses to stay afloat, according to the report.
Meanwhile, exports continue to provide an important support to Thai economy, especially for electronic and agricultural products. Production activities have begun to recovery, particularly in large foreign market such as China, it said.
The World Bank backed the government's lifting of public debt ceiling from 60 percent to 70 percent to help support the economic recovery both for short-term and medium-term.
(Source_title：World Bank cuts Thailand's 2021 GDP growth outlook to 1 pct)