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Is 'Teflon Thailand' finally losing its sheen?

Published on May 16, 2014 10:19 AM

BANGKOK (AFP) - Thailand's once-vibrant economy is buckling under the strain of months of political turmoil that has paralysed government policy, scared off tourists and spooked foreign investors, analysts warn.

Long hailed as "Teflon Thailand" for its enviable record of economic resilience in the face of political upheaval, the fallout from a six-month crisis that has left 28 people dead and hundreds wounded is mounting.

Official statistics due for release on Monday are expected to show that the economy contracted in the first quarter of 2014 from the previous quarter, and experts fear the poor performance will drag on until the deadlock is resolved.

"When there is no government, people lack confidence to spend and invest because they fear constant political chaos," said Thanavath Phonvichai, director of the Center for Economic and Business Forecasting at the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce.

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