Thailand's finance ministry on Thursday cut back its 2020 economic forecast to a record 8.5% contraction in GDP. This is a substantial contrast from a 2.8% growth it expected in January as the COVID-19 situation continued to worsen.
The ministry’s head of fiscal policy Lavaron Sangsnit also told a news conference that their forecast for the country’s 2020 export growth was also cut back from a 1% rise to an 11% fall. Lavaron added that the ministry already expected the economy to fall to its lowest, reaching a double-digit decline in the second quarter.
The government had previously rolled out billions of dollars in stimulus plans to soften the impact of the outbreak on its vital tourism and domestic industry.
However, Lavaron said that Southeast Asia's second-largest economy is likely to expand by 4%-5% with exports rising 5% in the next year. The ministry also expects its foreign tourism industry to surge to 15-16 million after the country saw only 6.8 million for the year.
2019 had a record 39.8 million foreign tourists in Thailand where spending accounted for 11.4% of its GDP.