Growth in Thailand is expected to accelerate gradually, but remain below 3 percent on average in 2016-18 as high household debt holds back consumption and export growth remains lukewarm.
Although it fell three places in the World Bank’s “Doing Business 2016” survey, Thailand retained its position within the world’s top 50 economies in terms of ease of doing business, ranking 49th of 189 countries.
Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy grew a seasonally adjusted 0.9 per cent in the first quarter, boosted by government spending and tourism, the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) said
Agriculture accounts for more than 65% of Thailand’s water consumption, leaving the sector highly vulnerable to low rainfall.
Amid improving market sentiment and a weakening dollar, the World Bank is raising its 2016 forecast for crude oil prices to $41 per barrel from $37 per barrel in its latest Commodity Markets Outlook, as an oversupply in markets is expected to recede.
Industrial confidence index in Thailand for the month of March rebounded to 86.7 points compared to February’s index of 85.1.
Slower economic recovery and shrinking exports are the main reasons quoted by the BoT for the lower adjustment, as well as the impact of the drought that could be more severe than expected.
The recovery is expected to strengthen moderately, with real GDP growth projected at 3 percent in 2016 and 3.2 percent in 2017. A slight improvement in confidence and low energy prices foreshadow a pickup in private consumption.