Thailand: BoT expects economy to return to pre-covid levels in 2023

  • The economy is expected to return to pre-Covid-19 levels in 1Q23 and its recovery will be slower than some other countries in the region, the governor of the Bank of Thailand (BoT) told a business forum on 9 Dec 21.
  • “Recovery will be slow and uneven … because Covid hit us in the soft underbelly in the tourism sector,” BoT Governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput said.
  • The central bank has said it expects the economy to grow about 0.7% in 2021 and recover further to expand 3.9% in 2022.
  • The recovery will be uneven because the rebound of service sectors related to tourism will be sluggish and the Omicron variant had made the outlook more uncertain, Mr Sethaput said.
  • Other sectors like manufacturing, especially businesses tied to exports, are back to or have exceeded pre-pandemic levels, he said.
  • Mr Sethaput said downside risks, such as rising inflation and monetary tightening by major central banks, were “fairly manageable” due to Thailand’s external buffers.

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