Thailand downgrades outlook

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    BANGKOK- Thailand cut its estimate for economic growth this year to 2.5-3.5 percent after suffering its worst slump in more than two decades in 2020 due to the shock from the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The government had previously forecast growth of 3.5-4.5 percent for this year, and the downward revision comes despite latest data showing the economy shrank less than expected in the October-December quarter as domestic activity and exports recovered after coronavirus restrictions were eased.

    The vital tourism sector remains in limbo because of international travel restrictions, and a COVID-19 outbreak in December has dealt a further blow to the country’s fledgling recovery.

    Southeast Asia’s second largest economy shrank 4.2 percent in the final quarter of 2020 from a year earlier, after a 6.4 percent contraction in the previous three months, National Economic and Social Development Council data showed on Monday.