Thailand: GDP growth could hit 3.8% on exports – 29 Jun 2017

  • Thailand’s economy could manage up to 3.8% growth in 2017 if exports continue growing, says the government’s planning unit.
  • The economy is expected to take off strongly in 2H17, driven by growing exports, higher private investment, improving farm prices and accelerated infrastructure development, said Porametee Vimolsiri, secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB).
  • The Commerce Ministry reported last week that Thai exports jumped 13.2% y/y in May 17, the highest in more than four years, as the global economic recovery helped boost demand and shrug off the impact of the baht’s appreciation.
  • The rise in exports in May 17 was far above the 8.4% growth in Apr 17, driven by increases in demand for several products. Agricultural exports rose 17.6% y/y in May 17, helped by higher shipments of rubber, sugar, rice, vegetables and fruits, shipments of which jumped 159.3% y/y.
  • Exports of industrial products rose by 12.8%, led by processed rubber, automobiles, electric circuits, computers and components, while jewellery remained in negative territory.
  • The NESDB is scheduled to unveil the economic figures for the 2Q17 and revise the economic growth forecast on 21 Aug 17. The NESDB predicted in May 17 that the country’s economic growth would stay in a range of 3.3-3.8% in 2017, up from 3.2% in 2016.
  • It cut its total investment growth projection to 4.4% in 2017 from 5.3% as private investment has not improved as expected. Private investment is expected to improve in the latter part of 2017 on the back of recovering exports. Mr Porametee earlier said the country’s economic growth in 2Q17 is unlikely to be as high because of the relatively big base of 3.6% in 1Q16.

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