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Thai economy logs 2.6% drop in Jan-March 2021

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Thailand’s gross domestic product (GDP) shrank 2.6 per cent year-on-year in the first three months. AFP

Thai economy logs 2.6% drop in Jan-March 2021

Thailand’s economy shrank in the first quarter, official data showed on May 17, as it was battered by coronavirus restrictions that have hit the key tourism sector hard.

The kingdom last year suffered its worst full-year performance since the Asian financial crisis of 1997 with a 6.1 per cent contraction.

The Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) said gross domestic product (GDP) shrank 2.6 per cent year-on-year in the first three months.

The NESDC also gave a cool forecast for the recovery, cutting its 2021 growth outlook to 1.5-2.5 per cent, from its previous estimate of 2.5-3.5 per cent.

With tight travel restrictions already reducing the usual flow of foreign visitors to a trickle, Thailand has been hit by a third coronavirus wave, triggering fresh curbs on economic activity.

Thailand has recorded just over 111,000 Covid infections, the vast majority since the start of the latest surge in infections, which began last month.

Officials reported 9,635 new cases on May 17 – the highest for a single day – driven by more than 6,800 infections in prisons.

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