Thailand's economy rebounds 2.2 percent in first quarter
BANGKOK, May 17, 2022 (BSS/AFP) - Thailand's economy grew 2.2 percent in the
first quarter following an export and tourism boost after the relaxation of
pandemic entry restrictions, the kingdom's main economic agency said Tuesday.
During the pandemic, Southeast Asia's second-largest economy suffered its
worst economic performance since the 1997 Asian financial crisis with visitor
numbers crashing from roughly 40 million annually.
However in April the government announced the end of compulsory on-arrival
Covid-19 tests for vaccinated travellers, as well as the requirement that
foreign arrivals wait in a hotel room for the results.
"The export sector is good... the tourism industry is getting better due to
the relaxation of entry requirements for tourists," National Economic and
Social Development Council secretary general Danucha Pichayanan said.
The agency said global market volatility from Russia's invasion of Ukraine,
as well as a slowdown in China's economy thanks to city-wide virus lockdowns,
was affecting the pace of the kingdom's economic recovery.
Ukraine is a key exporter of fertiliser and the war has reduced supply in
The Thai government has sought to ease the shortage by sourcing fertiliser
from Saudi Arabia.
The agency also raised its inflation forecasts this year to between 4.2-5.2
percent up from the earlier range of 1.5-2.5 percent.
Danucha attributed the inflation increase to rising energy prices.
The country has a weekly average of more than 6,500 daily new coronavirus
infections, although testing is limited.