Thai business group cuts 2021 GDP outlook for 4th time amid virus outbreak

People wearing face masks shop for street food in Chinatown amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Bangkok, Thailand, January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha/File Photo

BANGKOK, July 7 (Reuters) – Thailand’s leading business group on Wednesday lowered its 2021 economic growth forecast for the fourth time this year to 0.0% to 1.5%, from 0.5% to 2.0%, due to a prolonged third wave of COVID-19 infections and despite higher exports.

The tourism-reliant country’s biggest outbreak that emerged in April has seen the most cases and deaths, dealing a deeper blow to an already fragile economic recovery.

“The rapid and severe third wave has affected domestic demand although a clear global economic recovery will benefit Thai exports,” Payong Srivanich, chairman of the joint-business group of industry, banking and commerce, told a briefing.

The group raised its export growth forecast to 8% to 10% this year from 5% to 7% due to…

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