October 21st, 2011
07:48 AM GMT
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(CNN) – The floods in Thailand may cost the country more than tumultuous political uprisings did last year, as officials revise GDP growth expectations and maintain interest rates.

The Thai economy is now expected to grow less than 3% this year, down from previous estimates that put growth at around 4%, according to the Governor of the Bank of Thailand, Prasarn Trairatvorakul. This translates into shrinking 1.1% in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, Finance Minister Thirachai Phuvanatnaranubala told Reuters. Interest rates will remain unchanged at 3.5%, the first time rates were not increased since 2006.

In 2010, when “red shirt” antigovernment protesters clashed with the military in violent uprisings, the GDP grew 7.8%, according to an IMF report, despite concerns that the chaos would scare away tourists and investors.

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