Ratchada Night Market remains shut down on April 30, 2020.

BANGKOK (Xinhua) — Thailand’s central bank on Thursday said in a press briefing that the Thai economy has shrunk in the first quarter and will further contract in the second quarter, factoring the downfall to weakening exports and tourism, both sectors hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tourist arrivals in March dropped 76.4 percent year-on-year while exports contracted 2.2 percent, according to Don Nakornthab, senior director of Bank of Thailand’s Economic and Policy Department.

Exports contracted 2.2 percent year-on-year last month, he said.

The most affected sectors were automotive, machinery and parts, as well as oil-linked products.

Some expansion was seen in electronics, processed farm products and electrical appliances.

However, the BOT can see a U-shaped or V-shaped recovery depending on how fast the tourists return to the country as well as the global economic recovery, Don said.

He said that the Thai government’s economic stimulus packages estimated at over 1 trillion baht (30.86 billion U.S. dollars) could boost the GDP by 6 percent.