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Thai joint business group sees limited economic impact from Omicron

(CNA) – Thailand’s leading business group yesterday said it saw only a limited impact on the country’s economy from the latest coronavirus outbreak driven by the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

“We expect the impact from the Omicron variant to be felt in the first quarter of 2022 then economic recovery will continue in the second quarter,” said Chairman of the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking Sanan Angubolkul.

It maintained its outlook for gross domestic product (GDP) expansion this year of three per cent to 4.5 per cent and export growth of three per cent to five per cent.

Inflation was seen rising at 1.2 per-cent to two per cent this year, but short-term policies to support rising food prices were needed, Sanan told a news conference.

The group expects five to six million foreign tourists this year, it said in a statement. That compares to nearly 40 million in 2019. The central bank on Tuesday said the Thai economy will take a 0.3 per cent hit from the latest outbreak.

It last week forecast the economy to expand by 3.4 per cent in 2022.

The Bank of Thailand logo outside its building. PHOTO: CNA