Thailand’s economy could lose up to 300 billion baht ($ 10 billion) in first quarter after its biggest covid-19 outbreak saw consumer moods drop to five-month low in December , according to the business university.
The consumer confidence index fell for the first time in three months to 50.1 in December – when the new gap was detected – from 52.4 in November, with consumers worried that a surge in inflections could hit the market. economy and employment, according to a survey by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce showed Thursday.
“If the situation does not improve in January, consumer confidence could drop to an all-time high over the next two months,” University president Thanavath Phonvichai said in a briefing. The index hit a record low of 39.2 last April during the peak of the first wave of coronavirus.
The impact of the new outbreak is expected to be between 200 billion baht and 300 billion baht in the first quarter, Thanavath told Reuters. Further virus restrictions, including the closure of entertainment venues and schools in the capital Bangkok and other provinces, could hamper Thailand’s nascent economic recovery, analysts say.
“It is likely that the economy will contract in the first quarter, by 4% if there is a soft lockdown but by 11.3% if it is a hard lockdown,” Thanavath said. The university now predicts that the economy will grow by 2.2% this year from 2.8% earlier, he said, adding that the government would need at least 200 billion baht to support the economy.
Thailand on Thursday confirmed 305 new infections and one new death, bringing its total to 9,636 cases and 67 deaths since it first discovered the virus early last year.
Vote of no confidence against the Prime Minister
Meanwhile, Thailand’s biggest opposition party plans to start a censorship process against Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha and his government on January 27.
The debate is expected to last seven days and will focus on “the government’s mismanagement” and its response to Covid-19, which has caused “damage to the country,” according to Prasert Jantararuangthong, secretary of Thailand’s largest opposition party, Pheu Thai.
Last year Prayuth and five other ministers survived a vote of no-confidence when Parliament rejected the motions after a week-long censure debate over government performance, in which Prayuth had to rebut a series of criticisms .