Joint panel lowers Thai growth forecast to 1.5-2 %
BANGKOK (The Nation/ANN) - The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking, has revised downward its forecast of Thai economic growth this year to between 1.5 per cent and 2 per cent from its previous projection of 2 to 2.5 per cent.
The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking, has revised downward its forecast of Thai economic growth this year to between 1.5 per cent and 2 per cent from its previous projection of 2 to 2.5 per cent.
The revision was based on assumption that the Covid-19 outbreak worldwide would pass its peak in the middle of this year and economic activities return to normal in the fourth quarter, it said.While the government is preparing strong measures to revive the economy, the joint committee believes that the results might not be strong enough to offset the board damages already caused by the epidemic, especially in the tourism and industrial supply chain sectors .The committee has maintained its export forecast this year at minus 2 per cent and zero per cent.Speaking at a separate event this week , the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC)'s Secretary Titanun Mallikamas said the MPC has been closely monitoring development of the Covid-19 outbreak.
On February 5, the MPC voted unanimously to cut the policy rate by 0.25 of a percentage point from 1.25 per cent to 1 per cent, effective immediately.The reduction was in line with the MPC’s estimate that Thai economic growth would be lower than its previous forecast, due mainly to the new coronavirus outbreak and drought.Several banks have already stepped in to offer relief measures to individual and business customers hit by the outbreak impact, especially those in the tourism sector.The Council of Economic Ministers will hold a meeting this Friday on pressing issues following the impact of the Covid-19 coronavirus on the economy, said National Economic and Social Development Council secretary-general Thosaporn Sirisumphand on Tuesday (March 3).
The Covid-19 outbreak will hit southeast Asian banking sectors through weaker economic growth, slower credit growth and dampened profitability, with banks in tourism-dependent Thailand and China-exposed Singapore likely to be the most affected, according to Fitch Ratings release.On the global front, on Tuesday (March 3) theUS Federal Reserve trimmed its benchmark rate by 50 basis points to a range of 1 per cent to 1.25 per cent in a bid to protect its economic expansion from the spreading coronavirus.
On March 3, the World Bank Group announced that as Covid-19 has affected more than 60 countries, the bank is making available an initial package of up to $12 billion in immediate support to assist countries coping with the health and economic impacts of the global outbreak.This financing is designed to help member countries take effective action to respond to and, where possible, lessen the tragic impacts posed by Covid-19, according to its statement.