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Thailand Skips Lockdown to Save Economy, But GDP to Take Hit

  • Recent virus wave threatens to weigh on consumer spending
  • Government needs to boost spending to guard economy: analysts
A near-empty Soi Cowboy street in Bangkok, Thailand, on Jan. 4. 

A near-empty Soi Cowboy street in Bangkok, Thailand, on Jan. 4. 

Photographer: Andre Malerba/Bloomberg
Updated on

Thailand’s latest virus outbreak is likely to crimp consumer spending and delay a tourism revival, prompting warnings the economy may undershoot expectations for a rebound this year and next.

Thailand hopes to avoid a full national lockdown to stem a wave of infections that began in mid-December and has spread to more than 50 of 77 provinces. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha this week ordered some businesses to close and curbed travel in the worst-hit regions, as opposed to the hard lockdown imposed to quell the initial outbreak last March.