Thailand Economic Forecast

Thailand Economic Outlook

April 24, 2018

Data for the first quarter suggests that the economy continues to perform well, following last year’s pick-up in pace. Private consumption grew solidly in January and February accordingly to the Bank of Thailand, while business confidence jumped in the first quarter. High business sentiment was underpinned by momentum in the external sector and manufacturing, according to available data: Exports grew strongly in the first three months of the year, while manufacturing production remained resilient in January and February. On 17 April, the government approved plans to offer tax incentives to commercial banks in Thailand. Work had begun in December on measures to strengthen the fragile banking sector. The plans include tax incentives to facilitate mergers, which should enable Thai commercial banks to better compete with large commercial banks in the region.

Thailand Economic Growth

Strong domestic demand should fuel the economy this year and next. Government expenditure is expected to accelerate on the back of planned infrastructure expenditure, which ought to spill over to private fixed investment. However, export growth should moderate due to a large base effect, and escalating trade tensions between the U.S. and China pose a significant risk. Moreover, high household indebtedness remains a threat to private consumption growth. Political turmoil at home in the build up to general elections by February 2019 could dent investor confidence, dragging on growth. Met the why particular panelists expect the economy to grow 3.9% in 2018, unchanged from last month’s forecast. The panel projects growth of 3.7% in 2019.

Thailand Economy Data

20132014201520162017
Population (million)68.368.768.869.069.1
GDP per capita (USD)6,1755,9255,7885,907-  
GDP (USD bn)422117398117-  
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)2.70.92.93.2-  
Consumption (annual variation in %)0.90.92.23.1-  
Investment (annual variation in %)-1.0-2.24.42.8-  
Manufacturing (annual variation in %)2.3-3.8-  -  -  
Retail Sales (annual variation in %)-0.3-6.00.13.0-  
Unemployment Rate0.60.60.70.8-  
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-2.2-2.0-2.4-2.7-  
Public Debt (% of GDP)42.242.643.941.2-  
Money (annual variation in %)3.91.35.74.8-  
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)1.70.6-0.91.1-  
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)2.21.9-0.90.2-  
Inflation (PPI, annual variation in %)0.30.1-  -  -  
Policy Interest Rate (%)2.252.001.501.50-  
Stock Market (annual variation in %)36.0-13.624.1-17.7-  
Exchange Rate (vs USD)32.7632.9236.0435.78-  
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)30.6832.4434.2135.24-  
Current Account (% of GDP)-1.23.78.111.7-  
Current Account Balance (USD bn)-4.915.132.147.7-  
Trade Balance (USD billion)0.217.226.836.6-  
Exports (USD billion)228227214214-  
Imports (USD billion)228211187178-  
Exports (annual variation in %)0.3-0.6-5.90.4-  
Imports (annual variation in %)0.3-8.1-11.0-4.8-  
International Reserves (USD)167157157172-  
External Debt (% of GDP)33.734.833.032.2-  

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Thailand Facts

ValueChangeDate
Bond Yield2.720.0 %May 21
Exchange Rate32.160.17 %May 21
Stock Market1,768-1.41 %May 21

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