Thai joint business group sees limited economic impact from Omicron – CNA


The Bank of Thailand logo. (File photo: REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom)
BANGKOK: Thailand’s leading business group on Wednesday (Jan 12) said it saw only a limited impact on the country’s economy from the latest coronavirus outbreak driven by the highly transmissible Omicron variant.
“We expect the impact from the Omicron variant to be felt in the first quarter of 2022 then economic recovery will continue in the second quarter,” said Sanan Angubolkul, chairman of the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking.
It maintained its outlook for gross domestic product expansion this year of 3 per cent to 4.5 per cent and export growth of 3 per cent to 5 per cent.
Inflation was seen rising at 1.2 per cent to 2 per cent this year, but short-term policies to support rising food prices were needed, Sanan told a news conference.
The group expects 5 million to 6 million foreign tourists this year, it said in a statement. That compares to nearly 40 million in 2019.
The central bank on Tuesday said the Thai economy will take a 0.3 per cent hit from the latest outbreak.
It last week forecast the economy to expand by 3.4 per cent in 2022.
Thailand reported about 7,600 new infections and 19 deaths on Wednesday, nearly triple the average daily cases at the end of last year. It has recorded 2.28 million cases and nearly 22,000 coronavirus-related fatalities overall.
About 65 per cent of an estimated 72 million living in the country have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, but just 11.5 per cent have received booster shots.
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