Thai Central Bank Expects Economy to Return to Pre-Covid Level by 1Q23, Boosted by Improved Consumption

Thailand’s economy is expected to return to its pre-pandemic levels in the first quarter of next year, the Bank of Thailand (BOT) said on Monday.

Although the recovery is slow and lagging behind regional countries, it is still intact with a boost from improved consumption, according to the central bank’s Governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput.

The governor said that there were positive signs for recovery in the tourism sector, expecting that tourist arrival this year could beat BOT’s forecast of 6 million.

In a move to properly tackle rising inflation, the central bank will only gradually increase interest rates and ensure an uninterrupted economic recovery. Meanwhile, BOT will let the baht move along with market forces, starting from this month onward.

Additionally, the governor noted that a weak baht had been driven by external factors, particularly a strong greenback, but the depreciation is still in line with regional currencies, while capital movements remain normal.