Thailand Economic Forecast

Thailand Economic Outlook

September 18, 2018

After economic growth remained robust despite easing in the second quarter, the latest data suggests that momentum has moderated somewhat in the third quarter but remained healthy. In August, the manufacturing PMI continued to ease and dipped into contractionary territory, while business sentiment softened despite staying broadly optimistic. In addition, in July the tourism sector lost some steam due to a recent tour boat accident, while the trade sector recorded a small deficit. On the other hand, manufacturing growth was robust in the same month while private consumption expanded, likely thanks to rising consumer confidence, favorable farm and non-farm incomes and solid private credit growth. In the political arena, the government is moving closer to holding general elections next year, after two bills were approved in mid-September which suggest an election will be held by May 2019 at the latest.

Thailand Economic Growth

Softer external demand growth and rising trade war fears should result in a deceleration of economic growth in the second half of the year. Next year, a further moderation in export growth is expected on the back of heightened trade tensions. Nonetheless, the domestic economy should benefit from robust tourist arrivals, government infrastructure investment and strong private consumption. The panel projects the economy to grow 4.3% in 2018 and 3.8% in 2019, unchanged from last month’s forecast.

Thailand Economy Data

20132014201520162017
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 %)2.71.03.03.33.9
Consumption (annual variation in %)0.90.82.33.03.2
Investment (annual variation in %)-1.0-2.24.32.80.9
Manufacturing (annual variation in %)1.9-4.00.01.42.5
Retail Sales (annual variation in %)0.0-5.8-0.11.06.2
Unemployment Rate0.60.60.70.81.0
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 %)3.91.35.74.89.4
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)1.70.6-0.91.10.8
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)2.21.9-0.90.20.7
Inflation (PPI, annual variation in %)0.30.1-4.1-1.20.7
Policy Interest Rate (%)2.252.001.501.501.50
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)-1.23.78.011.711.6
Current Account Balance (USD bn)-4.915.232.148.248.1
Trade Balance (USD billion)0.117.226.836.631.8
Exports (USD billion)228227214214235
Imports (USD billion)228211187178203
Exports (annual variation in %)0.3-0.6-5.90.49.5
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

ValueChangeDate
Bond Yield2.710.0 %Sep 20
Exchange Rate32.330.17 %Sep 20
Stock Market1,752-1.41 %Sep 20

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