Thailand Economic Forecast

Thailand Economic Outlook

February 19, 2019

The economy shifted into a higher gear in the fourth quarter of last year on the back of a solid performance by the domestic economy and a softer drag on the economy from the external sector. Although the acceleration in the pace of growth had been anticipated due to robust monthly data, the tempo at which the economy grew exceeded market analysts’ expectations. Delving more deeply into the quarterly drivers, domestic demand was carried by private consumption and fixed investment, while the external sector benefited from a rebound in exports amid softer import growth. The new year also seemed to kick off on a good footing: Sentiment among businesses and firms rose in January while the manufacturing PMI continued to indicate improving operating conditions, albeit at a slightly softer pace than in December.

Thailand Economic Growth

Economic growth is expected to moderate somewhat this year despite stronger fixed investment and public consumption growth. Private consumption should remain robust on improving farm and non-farm incomes. However, a possible flare-up in the Sino-American trade spat following the end to the temporary truce on 1 March darkens the horizon. Increasing domestic tensions in the lead-up to the general elections is another downside risk. Our panel projects economic growth of 3.7% in 2019, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast, and 3.6% in 2020.

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 Yield2.520.0 %Mar 11
Exchange Rate31.660.17 %Mar 11
Stock Market1,627-1.41 %Mar 11

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