Thailand predicted to see zero growth this year hinh anh 1People wear masks at a shopping mall in Bangkok (Photo: AFP/VNA)
Bangkok (VNA) - Kobsak Pootrakool, senior executive vice-president at the Bangkok Bank (BBL), has predicted the Thai economy to see zero growth at best this year, as increasing COVID-19 infections are expected for at least another 2-3 months and the tourism industry will not recover in the fourth quarter as projected.

BBL previously projected Thai economic growth to be 1-2 percent this year.

As reported by local media, Kobsak, also former minister to the Prime Minister's Office, said the rapid spread of the pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the economy and domestic businesses nationwide.

New outbreaks can also occur later if inoculations fail to cover the whole nation, he warned, adding that another risk is emerging variants of the virus.

According to him, the epidemic has changed consumer behaviour as people are now more likely to save money rather than spend because of the uncertainty.

Kobsak said the prolonged outbreak is also affecting foreign travellers' confidence. Tourism accounts for 10-15 percent of GDP and it is unlikely to recover in the fourth quarter this year as previously expected.

The escalating number of infections in Thailand also affects the export-oriented manufacturing sector as many factories have been forced to cease production, he added./.