July 24, 2020 / 7:43 AM / 13 days ago

Thailand may have lost 7-8 million jobs during lockdown - central bank

Thailand's Central Bank Governor Veerathai Santiprabhob speaks during an interview with Reuters at the Bank of Thailand in Bangkok, Thailand, October 4, 2019. REUTERS/Matthew Tostevin/Files

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand’s job losses were estimated at 7-8 million during the country’s coronavirus lockdown, but half of those might be recouped after the situation eases, the central bank chief said on Friday.

The central bank has forecast Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy to contract by a record 8.1% this year, as the pandemic has battered tourism and domestic activity. Thailand has removed most of its restrictions and has its outbreak under control after just over 3,000 cases in total.

An economic recovery could take two years, Bank of Thailand Governor Veerathai Santiprabhob told NBT television channel.

Reporting by Orathai Sriring and Satawasin Staporncharnchai; Editing by Martin Petty

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