Thailand's economy shrunk 0.6 percent year on year in the first quarter of this year as the kingdom's festering political crisis battered consumer confidence and frightened off tourists.

The contraction is the first since the last three months of 2011, according to the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB).

The Board also slashed its growth outlook for 2014, forecasting 1.5-2.5 percent expansion, down from a previous estimate of 3.0-4.0 percent.

Consumers reeled in their spending "due to increasing concerns over the domestic political situation" that has seen nearly seven months of anti-government protests.

There are increasing concerns that the country’s current political turmoil will escalate with clashes in streets, especially after Yingluck Shinawatra thrown out off office.

Consumer confidence has slumped to its lowest level in more than a decade and tourist arrivals dipped by around 8 or 9 percent in February and March while foreign investors nervously watch the political crisis unfold.

Fitch Ratings has warned that its "'BBB+" sovereign credit rating could be clipped if the political deadlock continues through the second half of this year.-VNA