Thailand Economic Forecast

Thailand Economic Outlook

January 22, 2019

Following a moderation in the pace of growth in the third quarter of 2018, the economy should have accelerated in the final quarter on the back of rising private consumption. Indeed, in October–November, annual private consumption growth remained broadly unchanged from the multi-year high averaged in the second quarter. In less positive news, however, the trade balance likely fell into the red in the fourth quarter on weakening export growth amid global trade tensions and robust import growth reflective of firming domestic demand. Moreover, business confidence worsened in December, falling into pessimistic territory. Meanwhile, in the political arena, scheduled general elections were once again delayed—this time from 24 February to mid-March, due to supposed administrative difficulties. This impelled the first protesters to take to the streets since the military government outlawed such demonstrations following the 2014 coup d’état.

Thailand Economic Growth

Although economic growth is expected to moderate somewhat this year, it should nonetheless remain robust. Growth in fixed investment and public consumption is likely to pick up pace, while private consumption growth should remain solid. A possible flare up in the U.S.-China trade spat following the end to the temporary truce would dim prospects, while rising tensions leading up to the general election present a further downside risk. Our panel projects economic growth of 3.7% in 2019, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and 3.5% 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 Yield2.460.0 %Feb 14
Exchange Rate31.340.17 %Feb 14
Stock Market1,653-1.41 %Feb 14

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