BANGKOK — A major bank said the Thai GDP may shrink by as much as 10.3 percent this year due to economic woes caused by the coronavirus.
According to a report released by the Bank of Ayudhya, as many as 80 percent of the labor force is affected by the virus, a rise from its earlier forecast of 50 percent. The bank, also known as Krungsri, also warns that the impact from the collapse of the tourism industry in Thailand could prove severe.
Somprawin Manprasert, chief of the bank’s research and economic team, said foreign tourists arrivals to Thailand to drop by 83 per cent compared to last year, despite the “travel bubble agreement” the Prayut Chan-ocha administration is trying to arrange with some nations in the coming weeks.
Even if the travel bubble is in effect, it won’t make much difference, since it could generate no more than 1 million tourists per month, Somprawin said Last year saw 38.9 million foreign tourists arriving in Thailand, according to the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
Somprawin also warned that the 10.3 percent negative growth forecast could get even worse.
“Delay factors on basic infrastructure investments and drought impacts could reduce the GDP by yet another one per cent and 0.4 per cent respectively,” Somprawin said.