Thai economy shrinks 12% in 2Q, worst decline in 22 years

FILE - In this Aug. 6, 2020, file photo, shoppers walk though a clothing market in Bangkok, Thailand. Thailand's economy contracted at a 12.2% annual rate in the April-June quarter, its sharpest downturn since the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s. (AP Photo/ Gemunu Amarasinghe, File)
FILE - In this Aug. 6, 2020, file photo, shoppers walk though a clothing market in Bangkok, Thailand. Thailand's economy contracted at a 12.2% annual rate in the April-June quarter, its sharpest downturn since the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s. (AP Photo/ Gemunu Amarasinghe, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

BANGKOK – Thailand's economy contracted at a 12.2% annual rate in the April-June quarter, its sharpest downturn since the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s.

The data reflect a deterioration of business activity, with the country virtually closed to international travel due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The economy shrank 2% in the first quarter of the year, said the report Monday by the National Economic and Social Development Council.

It showed investment, consumer spending and trade all contracted. Farm output, also hurt by a drought, fell 3% while manufacturing declined 14.4%.

Thailand’s leaders are meanwhile grappling with a wave of student unrest.

Anti-government protesters gathered in large numbers in Thailand’s capital on Sunday for a rally that suggested their movement’s strength may extend beyond the college campuses where it had blossomed.

The protesters are demanding that the government hold new elections, amend the constitution and end intimidation of critics of the government.

While those grievances do not mention the economy, the demonstrations underscore public discontent with how the military-dominated government has handled the pandemic crisis, leaving many people struggling to feed themselves.