Wed, 28 Jul 2021

BANGKOK, June 23 (Xinhua) -- Thailand's central bank on Wednesday cut the nation's 2021 GDP forecast to 1.8 percent, the Bank of Thailand (BOT) said in a statement.

The forecast for this year was decreased from the previous 3 percent in March to 1.8 percent since the tourism industry and domestic demand are underperforming during the pandemic, according to the Monetary Policy Committee of the BOT.

Heavily reliant on tourism, Thailand has suffered a tremendous loss on tourists revenue as the number of international visitors slumped from some 40 million in 2019 to 6.7 million in 2020.

The committee highlighted the potential for further downside risk due to the ongoing outbreak and recommended to accelerate the implementation of financial measures, especially loan facility for businesses and debt restructuring.

The committee voted to keep the already low level policy rate at 0.50 percent for now and to be prepared to use the limited policy space at a more suitable time.

As an effort to deal with its worst COVID-19 outbreak, the Southeast Asian country has accelerated its vaccination campaign to help open up the economy and revitalize the tourism industry.

Thailand's daily COVID-19 fatalities hit record high with 51 deaths reported on Wednesday. The country's total infections now stand at 228,539, with 1,744 deaths.

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