Thailand: Exports, tourism help fire up expansion in Apr 22

  • The growth of exports, tourism and the agricultural sector supported the country’s economic expansion in Apr 22, according to the Fiscal Policy Office (FPO).
  • FPO adviser Wuttipong Jittungsakul said that the office will continue to keep a close eye on the Russia-Ukraine war, which has driven up the global oil price and affects production costs and living costs in Thailand.
  • The country’s export value in USD terms in Apr 22 rose 9.9% y/y. Products that performed well included finished oil products, chemical products, vehicle tyres, steel, farm produce and food products.
  • The export of sugar, casava products, rice and animal feed expanded 87.9% y/y, 49.5% y/y, 44% y/y and 24.7% y/y, respectively.
  • Other products that recorded growth were durable goods and electronic products.
  • The indicators of supply in Apr 22 showed signs of improvement from 2021, reflected in the expansion of the farm product index by 2.7% y/y, due to an expansion of key farm produce such as paddy rice, rubber, eggs and fishery products.
  • The number of foreign tourist arrivals in Apr 22 shot up by more than 3,000% y/y to 293,350. Most of them were from UK, India, Germany, Singapore and Australia. The number of local travellers soared 138.9% to 16.7 million.
  • Mr Wuttipong added that domestic spending also improved, reflecting the higher growth of value-added tax (VAT) collection of 1.6% y/y.
  • Sales of passenger vehicles rose 20.6% y/y, while motorcycle sales dipped 7.6% y/y. The automotive sector is one of the key pillars of the country’s economy.
  • The import of capital goods in Apr 22 grew by 6.3% y/y, while sales of cement fell 7.4%. The collection of property tax transactions dropped 6.5% y/y.
  • Recently the FPO downgraded its 2022 economic growth forecast to an average of 3.5% from an average of 4.0% earlier, mainly because of the Russia-Ukraine war and its effect on domestic energy prices.
  • The FPO expects 2022 economic growth to be in a range of 3-4%, compared with a range of 3.5-4.5%, which it forecast in Jan 22.

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