Thailand's recession deepens with biggest GDP fall in 22 years

BANGKOK (BLOOMBERG) – Thailand’s economy contracted the most in more than two decades, deepening its recession, as the government imposed a nationwide lockdown and restricted travel to control the Covid-19 outbreak.

Gross domestic product shrank 12.2 per cent from a year ago, the National Economic and Social Development Council said on Monday (Aug 17). The decline, the biggest since the Asian financial crisis in 1998, wasn’t as bad as the median estimate of a 13 per cent contraction in a Bloomberg survey of economists.

GDP fell a seasonally adjusted 9.7 per cent in the second quarter compared with the previous three months, the council said, better than the median estimate of a 11.2 per cent contraction in a Bloomberg survey

The economic council cut its full-year forecast to a 7.3 per cent-7.8 per cent contraction, compared to an earlier estimate of a 5 per cent-6 per cent fall.

Apart from logistical problems and weak global demand, exports have been pressured by gains of more than 6 per cent in the baht during the April-June quarter, making it Asia’s second-best performing currency tracked by Bloomberg.

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