Thailand: Finance Ministry promises new aid package

  • The Finance Ministry is set to roll out a fresh stimulus package in 1Q20 large enough to jump-start economic growth momentum, says Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana.
  • The prospective measures will help bolster consumer confidence, the tourism sector and business operators. It will focus on giving money to consumers by lowering financial burdens, preventing employees from losing jobs and providing skills training to employees in tourism-related sectors, Mr Uttama said without providing in-depth details.
  • The economic malaise, caused by a multitude of factors, has prompted many research houses to slash their economic forecasts, with some putting Thailand’s GDP growth below 2% in 2020.
  • GSB Research recently predicted that Thailand could lose THB170bn in tourism income, shaving 1% off 2020 GDP growth, if Covid-19 takes six months to contain.
  • Don Nakornthab, the central bank’s senior director for economics and policy, last week said economic growth under 2% was likely for 2020, while growth in 1Q20 could go below 1% in the event that the country loses THB250bn in tourism income as estimated by the Tourism and Sports Ministry.
  • Mr Uttama expects about THB100bn worth of state investment budget to be doled out by May 20 after the Senate passed the 2020 budget bill.

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