The Thai economy will grow next year after contracting by almost 10% this year. Next year, the Thai economy is expected to expand 3 to 4% from this year. It will not be until the end of 2022 before the Thai economy returns to its pre-Covid level of 2019. However, if there is another wave of Covid-19 in Thailand, or if effective vaccines are delayed, the recovery could be slower than anticipated.
The recovery is contingent upon a rebound in tourism and exports. Should large-scale vaccination become available by June 2021, large, advanced economies such as the US, EU, Japan and China, which will be first to receive the vaccines, could start to recover by the second half of next year. This would allow greater international tourism and exports for Thailand then.
KIRIDA BHAOPICHITR/TDRI RESEARCH DIRECTOR