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Thailand’s Economy Rebounds In Fourth Quarter

Channels Television  
Updated February 21, 2022
People enjoy a drink at a roof-top bar as rain falls in Bangkok on October 21, 2021. (Photo by Jack TAYLOR / AFP)

 

Thailand’s economy rebounded in the fourth quarter of last year on the back of rising exports and the easing of coronavirus restrictions that allowed tourists to return, senior officials said Monday.

The 1.9 percent on-year expansion was more than double what was forecast and marked a strong bounce after a 0.2 percent contraction in the previous three months.

For the whole year the economy grew 1.6 percent, according to the National Economic and Social Development Council, and also beat expectations.

South East Asia’s second largest economy was hit with a 6.1 percent contraction in 2020 — its worst economic performance since the 1997 Asian Economic Crisis.

The NESDC said it saw growth of 3.5-4.5 percent this year as tourism picks up and government spending kicks in.

Council secretary general Danucha Pichayanan said reopening the border to fully vaccinated foreign tourists in November had made some impact.

Nearly 500,000 tourists have visited since November, well short of the country’s target of five million, but the arrivals provided much-needed support to the economy.

The reopening was dealt a blow in December by the fast-spreading Omicron Covid variant.

The NESDC said it expected inflation of 1.5-2.5 percent for 2022.