June 8, 2020 / 2:33 PM / a month ago

Thailand plans extra stimulus measures to support virus-hit economy

FILE PHOTO: A view of the business district is seen from the rooftop of the Baiyoke Sky Hotel during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Bangkok, Thailand, April 29, 2020. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand plans to introduce additional stimulus measures from the third quarter to spur domestic consumption and tourism as the coronavirus outbreak hits the Southeast Asian country, the finance minister said on Monday.

The measures will encourage people with purchasing power to spend more in the third and fourth quarters of the year, Uttama Savanayana told a news briefing.

The steps will follow billions of dollars of economic packages to help Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy, which is expected to show this year the deepest contraction since the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis.

Separately, the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives will offer soft loans worth 170 billion baht ($5.41 billion) to help restore the farm sector which has been hit by the coronavirus and natural disasters, the finance minister said in a statement.

Reporting by Kitphong Thaichareon; Writing by Orathai Sriring,; Editing by Ed Osmond

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