Gross Growth ( Decrease ) during 2020 in Thailand.



2020 turns out to be a dismal year for the global economy, mainly as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the measures taken to eradicate or control the disease by all governments. Private consumption plummeted as a result of various lockdowns, and also because of fear by people to move around going out shopping. International tourism (extremely important for Thailand) kind of disappeared overnight, and at the end of 2020 has not made any substantial recovery, with flights in between countries severely limited. Thailand for all practical purposes has not opened its borders for tourists as the beginning of 2021 (with few exceptions allowing visitors who comply with very stringent measures). Exports of goods has also decreased for most countries, including Thailand. If possible, governments have attempted to increase government consumption expenditure and investments.

The first graph below shows a lot of similarities and some differences between Thailand and important trading partners. The Chinese economy took a serious dive already in the first quarter, which can be explained by the fact that the pandemic started in that country. Thailand, the Eurozone and the U.S.A. already showed decreases in GDP compared to the last quarter of 2019.

The second quarter showed very steep decreases in GDP in Thailand, U.S.A. and the Eurozone countries, since this was a period when most countries were in a first 'lockdown' significantly limiting freedom of movement for people and goods, and having an impact on industrial production, exports and imports. In Thailand the decrease of GDP is further accentuated by the fact that each month of closure of the country for foreign tourists, means approximately a 1 % decrease in GDP (that is about 10 % for the year). Interestingly, China already started recovering in the second quarter with a growth no less than 11.6 % from the 1st quarter.

 

GDP Growth quarter to previous quarter for 2020 in Thailand, China, U.S.A. and Eurozone