Thailand: Is a rebound in sight?

  • The Thai economy and exports have bottomed out and can start to rebound, but US-China retaliatory tariffs remain a risk factor and warrant close attention, according to a senior official from the Bank of Thailand.
  • The economy bottomed out in the 2Q19 while outbound merchandise shipments showed signs of picking up after Jun 19, said Don Nakornthab, senior director of the economic and policy department at the central bank.
  • The forecast for export growth excluding gold continued to improve in Aug 19, with outbound shipments for 2H19 faring better due to the base effect, production base relocation, higher export orders to avoid the impact from new tariffs on Chinese goods and the Commerce Ministry’s export stimulus measures.
  • Exports are expected to grow in 4Q19, but a contraction is likely for the full year, Mr Don said. The central bank is maintaining its estimate of zero export growth in 2019.
  • Mr Don also said the Bank of Thailand increased bond supply in Sep 19 from Aug 19 for liquidity management purposes.
  • The central bank will raise the supply of its bonds with one-year maturity by THB10bn to THB50bn in Sep 19, reflecting efforts to encourage foreign investors to keep switching to longer-end notes.
  • “The central bank wants to curb foreign fund inflows parked in short-term bonds by implementing measures in Jul 19, but their investment in long-term bonds is not our concern,” Mr Don said.

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