Illustrative image (Photo: Internet) Bangkok (VNA) – The Bank of Thailand (BOT) has reduced its economic outlook to a contraction of 8.1 percent this year, deeper than the 1997 financial crisis, but kept the policy rate on hold at 0.5 percent, according to local media. The latest economic forecast for 2020 is worse than the record contraction of 7.6 percent for the 1997 crisis, said Don Nakornthab, senior director for the economic and policy department, adding that a double-digit contraction is expected in the second quarter. The central bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) on June 24 voted to leave the benchmark rate unchanged, the Bangkok Post reported. However, the central bank raised its forecast for 2021 economic growth to 5 percent from 3 percent projected three months ago. MPC secretary Titanun Mallikamas said the deeper contraction is mainly the result of weaker external demand, especially tourism and exports. The BoT worsened the export contraction outlook to 10.3 percent from 8.8 percent previously forecast, while lowering foreign tourist arrival numbers from 15 million to 8 million this year. “Under the central bank’s scenario, we expect the Thai economy hit bottom in the second quarter. But the 8.1% contraction… Read full this story
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