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Thai finance minister still eyeing GDP growth of 1.3% this year - Metro US

Thai finance minister still eyeing GDP growth of 1.3% this year

FILE PHOTO: Thai finance minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith speaks during an interview with Reuters in Bangkok, Thailand

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand’s economy is still expected to grow 1.3% this year and the government is maintaining a target of 4-5% growth next year as it makes a push to revive a struggling economy through support measures, the finance minister said on Monday.

The Southeast Asian country’s worst coronavirus outbreak to date led to tougher restrictions imposed in July and August that slowed activity, but those curbs have since been eased https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSL1N2Q006L and authorities on Monday approved the reopening of more types of businesses.

The economy has been severely affected by coronavirus outbreaks but the government has quickly responded to the pandemic with necessary fiscal and financial measures, Finance minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith told a business seminar.

“Looking forward, the government will accelerate the effort and revitalise the economy,” he said.

The government recently lifted the public debt ceiling https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/thailand-raises-public-debt-ceiling-fight-covid-19-outbreak-2021-09-20 for more fiscal flexibility to support growth.

“We still believe that in 2021 our economic growth will be at a level of 1.3%. This is quite optimistic in a way, as compared with the private sector,” Arkhom said.

“For next year, we will keep our momentum for 4-5% economic growth,” he added.

At a separate conference, Bank of Thailand Governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput said the economy might grow less than 1% this year and the central bank was ready to introduce or adjust measures as needed to help debtors and businesses.

The BOT will review its monetary policy and update its economic forecasts https://www.reuters.com/article/idUSL4N2PA3QW on Wednesday. Its current GDP growth projection is 0.7% for this year.

(Reporting by Orathai Sriring and Satawasin Staporncharnchai; Editing by Ed Davies, Martin Petty)

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