Thailand is banking on tourism to underpin an economic recovery as Covid-19 pandemic-related restrictions ease, a central bank official said on Wednesday.
The kingdom’s economy improved in June, which Bank of Thailand (BOT) senior director Chayawadee Chai-Anant also ascribed to more robust domestic consumption.
While the revitalised tourism sector is a good boost to the economy, she said BOT officials are monitoring inflation, Covid-19 outbreaks and global economic issues.
Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy improved in the second quarter from the previous quarter, with annual growth expected at 3% or slightly higher, Chayawadee said.
Official second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth will be released by the state planning agency on August 15. In the first quarter, annual GDP growth was 2.2%.
The Thai baht and regional currencies are still on a weakening trend due to dollar strength, Chayawadee said.
But the baht depreciated more than its peers in July on concerns that China’s economy might recover slower than expected and that would affect Thailand, she added.
In June, exports rose 11% from a year while imports jumped 24%, resulting in a trade surplus of $2.1 billion for the month.
Meanwhile, the country recorded a current account deficit of $1.9 billion in June, down from a deficit of $3.7 billion in the previous month.
- Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell