Thailand Economic Forecast

Thailand Economic Outlook

April 16, 2019

The outcome of the March general election remains uncertain with both the opposition alliance (PT) and the pro-junta bloc (PP) currently lacking the numbers needed to form coalitions and nominate a prime minister. However, the PP bloc is expected to secure enough seats to form a government after official election results are released on 9 May. Political uncertainty prior to, and after, the general elections is likely leaving its mark on the economy. Private consumption growth moderated noticeably in February while private investment fell in the same month, reflecting dampening domestic demand. Weakening demand in Thailand is also evidenced by the marked drop in imports in February. Manufacturing output, meanwhile, dropped at the steepest rate in over four years in February, while the average manufacturing PMI reading for Q1 suggested only a fractional improvement in operating conditions.

Thailand Economic Growth

The economy is expected to grow at a more moderate pace this year despite robust public expenditure and fixed investment growth related to infrastructure projects. The ongoing trade spat between the U.S. and China remains a key downside risk to the outlook, while high household indebtedness could drag on household expenditure. Our panel expects the economy to expand 3.6% in 2019, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast, and 3.6% again 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 Yield2.490.0 %Apr 12
Exchange Rate31.780.17 %Apr 12
Stock Market1,660-1.41 %Apr 12

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