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Thailand’s economy grew 6.7 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2010, National Economic and Social Development Board NESDB secretary-general Arkom Termpitayapaisit said.
Thailand’s economy grew at the slowest pace in three quarters as exports eased and agriculture declined, prompting the government to predict the central bank will refrain from raising interest rates for the next year.
The economic growth in the last quarter contracted 0.2 per cent from the second quarter.
The country’s gross domestic product in the first nine months of this year rose 9.3 per cent when compared to the same period of last year, thanks to continuous expansion in exports, investment and consumption.The NESDB expected the Thai economy in the fourth quarter to drop 0.3 per cent due to the heavy flooding in many areas of the country, but the GDP for the entire 2010 should increase 7.9 per cent.
The third-quarter figure marks two straight quarters of contraction, technically the definition of a recession, after the agency revised down second-quarter GDP data to a contraction of 0.6% on quarter from a previous estimate for 0.2% growth. But still this is the kind of recession many countries would like to endure : the agency raised on-year growth in the second quarter to 9.2%, from 9.1%.
This year’s inflation rate should stand at 3.2 per cent while exports should expand 25.1 per cent.Risk factors in the fourth quarter included the strengthening baht, the impact from flooding, the fluctuation of oil prices and a reduction in consumption.
Thai consumer confidence fell for the first time in six months in October as the baht surged and the nation’s worst floods in five decades devastated agricultural land, a report showed this month. The flooding may curb Thai GDP growth this year by 0.3 percentage point, Arkhom said today.
Foreign Investment Recovers
Dr. Atchaka (BOI sec. gen) added that foreign direct investment in Thailand is on the upswing. For January-October 2010, some 691 foreign applications with a total investment value of 174,884 million baht were submitted to the BOI. This represented a 26.3% increase in the number of projects compared with the 547 projects submitted in the same period last year. The investment value was 11.1% higher compared with 157,401 million baht in the first 10 months of 2009.
Japan remained the largest foreign investor with 284 applications worth 71,342 million baht in January-October 2010, followed by Spain (2 projects worth 22,008 million baht), China (23 projects, 9,681 million baht) and Singapore (52 projects, 9484 million baht).