Thailand's economy affected by third wave of COVID-19 hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Source: Xinhua/ VNA)

Bangkok (VNA)
– Thailand’s GDP growth may dive to 1.6 percent if the government fails to stimulate its economy reeling from the third wave of COVID-19 infections, according to the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC).

Despite maintaining its GDP growth forecast at 2.8 percent, the UTCC on April 22 warned the government about dimmer prospects as economic growth will be partly determined by state outlays in 2021.

The university suggested the government splurges 200-300 billion THB (6.3 – 9.5 billion USD) through stimulus packages to compensate for the lengthy COVID-19 impact, which has damaged the Thai economy since last year.

The 1.6 percent growth prediction assumes the government takes only two months to control the latest outbreak, and the alarmingly high daily infection rates, according to UTCC President Thanavath Phonvichai.

A two-month outbreak is enough to decrease people's spending by 200 billion THB, or a decrease of 1.2 percentage points of GDP.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries Supant Mongkolsuthree trimmed its 2021 economic growth forecast for the second time this year to 1.5 – 3.0 percent from 1.5 – 3.5 percent after the third wave of coronavirus infections despite improved exports.

The new economic projection is based on an assumption that Thailand will meet its vaccination targets and introduce fiscal measures of more than 200 billion THB to support the economy.

Without the money, Thailand’s GDP would grow zero percent, he said.

Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy contracted 6.1 percent last year, the deepest slump in over two decades, as tourism tumbled.

Thailand ended 2019 with over 3 trillion THB in tourism revenue, including around 2 trillion THB from the international market, and 1 trillion THB from the domestic market.

Last year, the country welcomed 6.7 million tourists, and gained only 300 billion THB in tourism revenue.

The Kasikorn Research Centre predicts Thailand will welcome around 2 million foreigners this year./.