Bangkok, Nov 16 (efe-epa).- Thailand’s gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 6.4 percent in the third quarter compared to the same period last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the national economic planning agency of the country announced on Monday.
The Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) had forecast a contraction in the GDP of 8.5 percent in the third quarter.
The data is also an improvement with respect to the 12.1 percent decline in the GDP in the second quarter, the NESDC said in a statement.
“The improvement was due to the easing of lockdown measure and domestic travel restriction, coupling with the implementation of government policies, which resulted in the recovery of economic activity and domestic consumption,” the agency said.
The pandemic has caused a sharp decrease in domestic consumption and exports, although the worst affected sector is tourism due to borders still closed to overseas visitors.
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate stands at 1.9 percent.
The NESDC forecasts that the Thai economy, which contracted by 6.7 percent in the first nine months of the year, will shrink by 6 percent in 2020.
According to the agency, the economy is expected to recover in 2021 with an expansion of between 3.5 and 4.5 percent.
Most Asian economies contracted in the third quarter of the year, with the exception of countries such as China, which expanded by 4.9 percent, Taiwan, which grew by 3.3 percent and Vietnam, which posted a growth of 2.6 percent. EFE-EPA