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Thai Q2 household debt jumps to 83.8% of GDP as economy shrinks

BANGKOK, Sept 30 (Reuters) - Thailand’s household debt level to gross domestic product (GDP) jumped to 83.8% in the second quarter, the highest since 2003, central bank data showed on Wednesday, as the pandemic hammered the economy.

Southeast Asia’s second’s largest economy suffered its biggest contraction in 22 years in the second quarter and may shrink a record 7.8% this year, the central bank predicts.

As of June, household debt increased to 13.59 trillion baht ($429.11 billion), from 13.50 trillion baht at end-March, equal to a revised 80.2% of GDP, already among Asia’s highest.

The debt ratio was driven by an economic contraction, while the amount rose at a slower pace, Bank of Thailand director Don Nakornthab said in a statement.

The debt to GDP ratio may surge to 88-90% at the end of this year, according to Kasikornbank’s research centre.

The BOT’s household debt data is available from 2003. ($1 = 31.67 baht) (Reporting by Orathai Sriring Editing by Andrew Heavens)