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Thailand’s economy rebounds in fourth quarter

BANGKOK (AFP) – Thailand’s economy rebounded in the fourth quarter of last year on the back of rising exports and the easing of coronavirus restrictions that allowed tourists to return, senior officials said yesterday.

The 1.9 per cent on-year expansion was more than double what was forecast and marked a strong bounce after a 0.2 per cent contraction in the previous three months.

For the whole year the economy grew 1.6 per cent, according to the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC), and also beat expectations.

Southeast Asia’s second largest economy was hit with a 6.1 per cent contraction in 2020 – its worst economic performance since the 1997 Asian Economic Crisis.

The NESDC said it saw growth of 3.5-4.5 per cent this year as tourism picks up and government spending kicks in.

Council secretary general Danucha Pichayanan said reopening the border to fully vaccinated foreign tourists in November had made some impact.

A vendor sells fruits in Bangkok. PHOTO: AFP
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