Bank of Thailand predicts weaker economic growth during Omicron outbreak


With the emergence of the Omicron variant in Thailand and a slight increase in cases after the New Year’s holidays, the country’s central bank said the economy could slow down in the first half of the year.

The kingdom has seen a recovery in tourism, particularly in the past two months with the Test & Go quarantine exemption program. Enrollment in the entry program has been closed due to the emergence of the strain recently. discovery, leaving the future of tourism uncertain.

Along with the rebound in tourism, domestic spending has also supported the Thai economy. But since the Omicron outbreak, taking a regular home Covid-19 test has become the ‘norm’, restrictions have tightened and people in close contact with Covid-19 cases have been told to work from home . The Bank of Thailand said in a statement, which was reported by Reuters, that the outbreak is a major risk.

The bank says Thailand is expected to control the spread of Omicron by the first quarter of 2022, but the bank’s senior manager adds that the outbreak could be more severe and longer than expected.

While Thailand’s GDP is expected to grow by 3.4% in 2022, the financial stability of households and businesses remained precarious amid high levels of consumer and business debt that were also seen as a risk.

An associate governor of the central bank said inflation is also expected to rise slightly in the first half of 2022, as expected, and that the bank has prepared to interfere in markets if the baht currency becomes excessively volatile. He adds that the committee will only meet six times a year, or every seven to ten weeks, instead of eight times or every six to eight weeks in the past, due to the weight of the market in the future.

THE SOURCE: Reuters

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