IMF pegs Thailand’s growth at sluggish 2.6pc

Bangkok, March 16, 2021
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expects Thailand’s economic recovery to be sluggish in 2021 with growth pegged at 2.6 per cent.
The IMF forecast comes after virtual consultation with Thailand held from February 24 to March 11. IMF’s Lamin Leigh led the discussions.
Thailand’s economy contracted by 6.1 percent in 2020 amid stringent measures to contain the COVID‑19 pandemic and a sudden stop in tourism flows.
In his observations, Leigh said, “The COVID‑19 pandemic has significantly impacted the Thailand economy. Real GDP growth in 2020 contracted by 6.1 percent. Containment measures and the sudden stop in tourism flows have depressed activity. Subsequently, real GDP recovered in both Q3 and Q4 2020 and grew by 6.2 percent and 1.3 percent respectively on a quarter-to-quarter basis.
Regarding the economic outlook for Thailand, Leigh said, “The outlook remains challenging. Growth is projected to reach 2.6 percent in 2021, led by a recovery in domestic demand. The recovery in tourism is expected to be slow for most of 2021, hinging partly on a successful vaccine deployment and resumption of global travel.”
Uncertainty surrounding the outlook is high and hinges partly on the timely availability and distribution of an effective vaccine, he said.
The mission recommends an accommodative macroeconomic policy mix to support the recovery focusing on protecting vulnerable groups and scaling up of public investment. Structural reforms should contribute to limiting economic scarring from the pandemic and fostering a sustainable and inclusive recovery.
(Source: International Monetary Fund)