Several major Thai banks have drastically reduced their GDP growth forecast for 2020 citing the coronavirus epidemic, drought and fiscal delays.
The coronavirus epidemic, the delayed fiscal budget and the ongoing drought are estimated to shave nearly 280 billion baht off GDP, taking economic growth down to a range of 1.7-2.1%, according to TMB Analytics.
TMB Analytics forecast foreign tourist arrivals of 38.7 million in 2020.
The research unit earlier predicted economic growth would come in at 2.7% this year.
Earlier, the Tourism Authority of Thailand predicted a fall of 2 million tourists from China, the biggest source of visitors, this year.
Last year, Thailand welcomed a record 39.8 million foreign tourists, with Chinese visitors at nearly 11 million. Spending by foreign tourists accounted for 11% of GDP last year.
Siam Commercial Bank’s Economic Intelligence Center (EIC) has offered the most pessimistic view yet of Thailand’s 2020 economic growth, slashing its forecast from 2.7% to 2.1% after taking into account the coronavirus epidemic and the delayed fiscal budget.
The biggest impact from the outbreak of the novel coronavirus on Thailand’s tourism sector will be seen this month and next, the research unit said.
The number of foreign travellers is estimated to drop for three straight months in the better-case scenario, four in the base-case scenario and six in the worst-case assumption, resulting in a contraction of 2.5%, 4.6% or 8.1% in 2020, the EIC said.
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