Thai GDP shrinks 1.8% in Q1, its sharpest decline since 2011 flood

BANGKOK — Thailand recorded its sharpest economic contraction n over eight years, with gross domestic product falling 1.8% on the year in January to March, the country’s economic planning agency said Monday.

The kingdom has re-opened shopping malls closed for nearly two months due to the coronavirus outbreak as it tries to pick itself up off the floor.

The National Economic and Social Development Council said Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy shrank at its fastest pace since the fourth quarter of 2011, when Thailand was hit by massive flooding.

It was the first decline in quarterly economic output since the first

Read More

Toyota forecasts 80% decline in annual operating income

TOKYO — Toyota Motor expects an 80% drop in operating income this year as disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic plagues the Japanese car giant, hitting both demand and production.

Toyota expects operating income of 500 billion yen ($4.6 billion) for the fiscal year that ends in March 2021, the company said at its earnings conference on Tuesday.

Sales revenue is expected to fall 20% to 24 trillion yen while overall sales volumes are expected to fall 22% to some 7 million vehicles.

Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota, said the shock from the coronavirus pandemic was far greater than had

Read More

Hong Kong GDP shrinks 8.9% in worst decline on record

HONG KONG — Hong Kong posted its biggest-ever quarterly economic contraction on Monday, as the coronavirus pandemic dealt a blow to the Asian financial hub following months of social unrest.

First-quarter gross domestic product dropped 8.9% compared with the same period a year earlier, according to an advance government reading, falling short of market expectations and marking the city’s steepest GDP decline on record.

The economic downturn is attributed to “the continued weak performance in both domestic and external demand, as affected by the COVID-19 pandemic,” a government spokesperson said in a statement, adding that U.S.-China tensions and financial-market volatility

Read More

Economic decline set to overtake 300 years of history

After the joy of the lockdown being lifted, this output collapse will leave firms and households exhausted

Amidst today’s manifest uncertainties, economic predictions owe more to judgment than methodology, relying more on instinct than arithmetic.

It’s clear some existing trends will accelerate after this lockdown – working via digital links from home, for instance. But the broader commercial, societal and geopolitical implications of this pandemic are, frankly, anyone’s guess.

What we know for sure is that the immediate economic hit is massive. The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) last week forecast a blood-curdling 35pc year-on-year drop in UK national income

Read More