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Thai economy slips

BBC: “Sharp decline in Thailand economy

Thailand’s economy shrank at a record pace in the last three months of 2008 amid plummeting exports and tourism.

The economy shrank 6.1% in the October to December period from the previous quarter, the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) said.

This was the largest contraction since records began in 1993. The NESDB said the economy might contract 1% in 2009.

The export-oriented Asian economy has been hit by the global downturn and political unrest at the end of 2008.

Anti-government protesters shut down Bangkok’s airports, hitting tourism, one of the key sectors of the economy.

WSJ: “Thai Economy Shrinks More Than Expected

Thailand’s economy shrank more than expected in the fourth quarter of last year — its first contraction in nearly a decade — as the global slowdown shriveled demand for its key exports and domestic political unrest spooked its tourism sector.

The economy will likely continue to shrink in the first three quarters of this year, a government think tank said, with a reversal likely to kick in only in the last three months of the year.

Gross domestic product contracted 4.3% from a year earlier, resulting in full year GDP growth of 2.6%, the National Economic & Social Development Board said Monday. Seasonally adjusted GDP shrank 6.1% from the previous quarter.

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