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Finance

Thai pandemic borrowing binge prompts calls for repayment delays

Household debt emerges as campaign issue with general election looming

BANGKOK -- The surge in Thai consumer borrowing during the pandemic has become a campaign issue in the Southeast Asian country, with populist politicians pushing for a multi-year debt holiday.

Thai households owe more as a percentage of gross domestic product than any other country in the region, according to the latest Bank of Thailand figures, reflecting a jump in borrowing that occurred as COVID dealt a blow to an economy that relies heavily on tourist revenues.

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