Thai Q2 economy seen shrinking by up to 13%

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    BANGKOK- Thailand’s economy may have shrank by 12 percent-13 percent in the second quarter from a year earlier due to the impacts of the coronavirous pandemic, the central bank said, in what could be a record contraction.

    However, the economy had improved in June from the previous month following the easing of a lockdown to curb the spread, which has battered tourism and domestic activity.

    “The economy should have bottomed out. The second quarter probably shrank the deepest in history,” Don Nakornthab, a director at the Bank of Thailand (BOT), told a briefing.

    “At this point, we still look at a double-digit contraction, possibly minus 12 percent-13 percent,” he said.

    Thailand registered a record economic contraction of 12.5 percent in the second quarter of 1998, during the Asian financial crisis.

    Don said official gross domestic product (GDP) data for April-June, which is due on Aug. 17, might be better than the BOT’s estimates given the latest improved economic indicators.

    “If the actual data is better than expected, there is a chance that the BOT will revise up its estimates when it reviews them in September,” he said.

    The BOT has forecast Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy will contract by a record 8.1 percent this year.

    In June, private consumption rose 6 percent from the previous month while investment increased 5.7 percent.

    Exports, a key driver of growth, dropped 24.6 percent in June from a year earlier, after May’s 23.6 percent decline. – Reuters