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 close to the end of 2020 has not made any substantial recovery, with flight in between countries severely limited. Thailand for all practical purposes has not opened its borders for tourists as of November 2020. Exports of goods has also decreased for most countries. If possible, governments have attempted to increase government consumption expenditure and investments.

The 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 and the Eurozone countries also already showed decreasesin GDP compared to the last quarter of 2019, while the United States actually still showed some growth.

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 '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 10 % for the year, if the situation continues, taking into account that some tourists still arrived in the first quarter of 2020). Interestingly, China already started recovering in the seconf quarter with a growth of 3.2 % from the 1st quarter.

 

GDP Growth (Decrease) from Quarter to Quarter in 2020 for Thailand, U.S.A., Eurozone countries, China