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Protests Cost Thailand Over US$15 Billion Loss In Business
Losses could reach a trillion baht (US$30.77 billion/RM98.4 billion) and the country's economy may shrink by 0.5 per cent this year, the Faculty of Economics at Rangsit University said.
Faculty dean, Anusorn Thamjai on Monday predicted that the three-month domestic political protests could cause a slowdown in economy in the first and second quarter of the year.
"As a result the national economy should grow by only 0.5 per cent in the first half of 2014 and remain stable or shrink by 0.5 per cent throughout the year," Anusorn said.
The dean said if general election is held in April leading to the formation of a new government, and if the political crisis is overcome and violence ends, the country's economy could grow by 2.5 percent.
"If political violence continues, if the 2015 fiscal budget is delayed and if there is a coup, a failed state or a state of anarchy, the national economy could contract by 0.5 per cent this year and a crisis-driven recession may take place," he said.
Anusorn said despite the noticeable recovery of the global economy and Thai export growth, the negative impacts would be felt as tourism slows, the government's spending gets delayed and payment for farmers' pledged rice is postponed.
Anusorn warned that 2014 could be the beginning of a decade of economic recession for Thailand but if the government succeeds in overcoming political unrest, carry out comprehensive reform and realise true democracy, Thais would enjoy a better quality of life and see significant national progress ahead.
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