Thai economy to expand 4 percent next year: ADB hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Photo:

Bangkok (VNA) – Thailand’s economy will grow 4 percent in 2021,  more than 1 percentage point lower than Southeast Asia’s average, according to the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

In its latest forecast, ABD downgraded the ASEAN region’s outlook for 2021, with Southeast Asia now expected to grow 5.2 percent next year compared to 5.5 percent forecast in September.

The bank also downgraded its 2020 GDP forecast for Southeast Asia to -4.4 percent from -3.8 percent in September. It projects the Thai economy this year will contract 7.8 percent, down sharply from 2.4 percent growth last year.

Meanwhile, the Thai baht’s appreciation is poised to continue until the end of 2021 as a result of the weaker USD and Thailand's current account surplus, according to the Economic Intelligence Center (EIC), a research house under Siam Commercial Bank.

External factors contributing to the firmer baht include the weaker USD, a larger US budget deficit, less volatility in global trade tensions and progress in COVID-19 vaccines, causing capital inflows to emerging market economies, said Yunyong Thaicharoen, first executive vice-president of EIC.

The Thai economy has declined by 12.1 percent and 6.4 percent, respectively, in the second quarter and the third quarter of 2020 due to adverse impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on its tourism industry.

CIMB Thai Bank forecasted that Thailand's economy will see a clear recovery momentum in 2022 as domestic demand will remain weak in 2021./.