July 30, 2020 / 6:42 AM / 7 days ago

Thai fin ministry slashes 2020 GDP outlook to 8.5% contraction

BANGKOK, July 30 (Reuters) - Thailand’s finance ministry on Thursday slashed its 2020 economic forecast to a record 8.5% contraction in gross domestic product from the 2.8% growth it projected in January, due to the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

The ministry also cut its 2020 estimate for exports, a key driver of growth, to a fall of 11.0% from an earlier 1.0% rise, Lavaron Sangsnit, head of the finance ministry’s fiscal policy office, told a news conference.

For 2021, the ministry predicts Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy will expand 4.0-5.0%.

Reporting by Kitiphong Thaichareon Writing by Orathai Sriring Editing by Ed Davies

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