Thai vaccine rollout will produce strong Q4 growth

Thailand’s economy should see robust growth in the fourth quarter of this year as the government’s COVID-19 vaccination program reaches more of the population, according to private sector leaders and one of the Kingdom’s biggest banks.

“Mass vaccinations and economic stimulus measures will help increase economic activity in the fourth quarter, which was previously only expected to happen in the first quarter of next year,” said Payong Srivanich, a member of the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry, and Banking (JSCCIB).

The Kasikorn Research Center, a division of one of the top four banks in the country, predicted that growth during the fourth quarter would be above 5 percent if the government could maintain its vaccination rate of 400,000 inoculations per day.

“If the government can keep positive momentum, it could meet its goal of 100 million doses administered this year,” said Nattaporn Triratanasirikul, Assistant Managing Director of the research center.

The center also raised its outlook for Thai export growth this year to 9 percent from 7 percent, based on the global economic recovery, and increased its import growth forecast to 15.5 percent from 10 percent.

Thailand’s economy contracted during the first quarter of this year because of a third wave of infections. The situation is still at the level of an outbreak and not an epidemic. Most new infections have been clustered in a small group of provinces.

The JSCCIB also urged the government to focus its outbreak response and containment measures on areas where manufacturing is abundant so that supply chains would not be as affected.

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