Thai economy improves in June due to easing of lockdown: central bank

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BANGKOK, July 31 (Xinhua) -- The Thai central bank on Friday released a report indicating that the Thai economy has slightly improved in June due to gradual relaxation of lockdown measures allowing resumption of economic activities.

Because of the easing of the restrictions, private consumption and private investment indicators, and manufacturing production contracted at a lower rate than in May, said the Bank of Thailand's (BoT) latest report on Economic and Monetary Conditions.

The value of goods exports fell by 24.6 percent in June from the same period last year.

Excluding gold, the rate of contraction fell sharply to 18.4 percent from 29.0 percent last month, due to improvement in exports in almost all categories.

However, export values still shrank at a high rate, especially automotive and parts, machinery and equipment, and petroleum-related products, reflecting weakening income of trading partners.

Headline inflation remained negative but edged up due to a rise in domestic retail petroleum prices, the report said.

Labor market remained vulnerable as jobless claims rose.

Meanwhile, public spending expanded both in current and capital expenditures.

However, the tourism sector continued to contract substantially as foreign tourist arrivals stayed at zero for the third consecutive month due to Thailand's inbound travel restrictions, the report said.

The BOT reported that overall economic activity in the second quarter of 2020 substantially contracted as a result of economic disruption from COVID-19 containment measures in Thailand and abroad. Enditem

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