Thailand Economic Forecast

Thailand Economic Outlook

November 13, 2018

Economic activity is expected to have moderated in the third quarter, following strong growth in H1. Momentum in the manufacturing sector ebbed somewhat, as demonstrated by the manufacturing PMI, which averaged slightly lower than the previous quarter. Moreover, the external sector appeared to soften, with the trade surplus narrowing to a four-year low on soft export growth and surging imports. In addition, the all-important tourism sector took a hit from the Phuket boat accident. More encouragingly, growth in private consumption accelerated in the third quarter on the back of still-muted inflationary pressures and improving non-farm incomes, while consumer and business confidence were solid. Looking at Q4, the picture remains mixed: Business confidence and the PMI fell below the crucial 50-point mark in October, while consumer confidence remained elevated. In early November, the government announced a series of measures to reignite the tourism sector, including visa fee waivers for citizens of some countries for two months.

Thailand Economic Growth

Economic growth is expected to moderate next year on slower private consumption and export growth. However, private consumption will still be resilient, likely benefiting from rising income levels and a tight labor market, while fixed investment should pick up amid high capacity utilization. A further escalation in the U.S.–China trade spat and possible political uncertainty in the build-up to next year’s elections pose downside risks. The panel projects that the economy will grow 3.8% in 2019, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and 3.5% in 2020.

Thailand Economy Data

Population (million)68.368.768.869.069.1
GDP per capita (USD)6,1725,9375,8195,9706,591
GDP (USD bn)422118111412455
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)
Consumption (annual variation in %)
Investment (annual variation in %)-1.0-
Manufacturing (annual variation in %)1.9-
Retail Sales (annual variation in %)0.0-5.8-
Unemployment Rate0.
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-1.9-2.9-2.9-2.8-3.5
Public Debt (% of GDP)42.242.543.711.741.8
Money (annual variation in %)
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)1.70.6-
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)2.21.9-
Inflation (PPI, annual variation in %)0.30.1-4.1-1.20.7
Policy Interest Rate (%)
Stock Market (annual variation in %)36.0-13.624.1-17.721.2
Exchange Rate (vs USD)32.7632.9236.0435.7832.64
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)30.6832.4434.2135.2433.90
Current Account (% of GDP)-
Current Account Balance (USD bn)-4.915.
Trade Balance (USD billion)
Exports (USD billion)228227214214235
Imports (USD billion)228211187178203
Exports (annual variation in %)0.3-0.6-
Imports (annual variation in %)0.3-8.1-11.0-4.814.2
International Reserves (USD)167157157172203
External Debt (% of GDP)33.734.832.732.132.7

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Thailand Facts

Bond Yield2.710.0 %Nov 15
Exchange Rate32.850.17 %Nov 15
Stock Market1,639-1.41 %Nov 15

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