BANGKOK, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Thai economy is expected to recover over the next two years, underpinned by a rebound in domestic demand and supportive fiscal policy, the World Bank said Wednesday.
The bank projected the Thai economic growth to rebound to 4 percent in 2021 and pick up further to 4.7 percent in 2022.
As restrictive measures and social-distancing weighed on private consumption, leading to reductions in jobs and incomes, while private investment and exports were also hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, the bank expected the Thai economy to contract 6.5 percent in 2020.
The Southeast Asian country has performed relatively well compared to its peers in the region in terms of the scale, speed, and targeting of its fiscal response, which has centered on a one-trillion-baht (about 33.3-billion-U.S. dollar) package to fund cash transfers, the medical response, and economic and social rehabilitation, according to the report.
However, the bank warned that the economic outlook remains highly uncertain due to risks from external and domestic sources.
"If the new wave of infection in Thailand is not well contained, or if global cases continue to rise and progress on distributing a vaccine is slower than anticipated, economic activity could continue to be disrupted by social distancing measures and lockdowns," it said.
As of Wednesday, the country's total COVID-19 caseloads rose to 12,653, with more than 8,000 of the infections reported since mid-December and more than 60 of the country's 77 provinces and regions having active cases.
The Bank of Thailand said although coronavirus in the latest outbreak spread faster than in last year, the economic impacts would be milder as the government has been imposing more flexible restrictive measures, with fewer businesses being suspended. (1 U.S. dollar equals 30 Baht)