Indicators in February pointed to an economic downturn under impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, battering the domestic economy and Thai exports, according to the Finance Ministry.
Consumer spending saw zero growth during the month as value-add tax collection increased 4.6 per cent year on year while car sales, new registrations of motorcycle dropped 15.4 per cent and 3.7 per cent respectively, said the Finance Ministry’s Fiscal Policy Office on Monday (March 30).
Private investment also ran out of stream with import of capital goods and commercial car sales fell by 10.2 per cent and 18.1 per cent respectively. Real estate sector was also hit hard as evidenced in the 18.8 per cent contraction in tax collection from property transactions.
Tourist arrivals in February plunged 42.8 per cent to 2.06 million, of whom the number of Chinese tourists plunged 84.9 per cent as the coronavirus spread from that country to most nations in the world.
Total public spending in February contracted by 6.9 per cent and capital spending plunged 76.5 per cent due largely to the delay in the passage of fiscal budget 2020. Spending is expected to be disrupted as the government may reallocate financial resources to mitigate impact of the virus. Most research houses predict Thailand will face a economic recession this year while Bank of Thailand forecast a 5.3 per cent contraction in GDP.