The World Bank has upgraded Thailand’s income categorization from a lower-middle income economy to an upper-middle income economy in July 2011. This is due to Thailand’s progress in social and economic development, despite facing a number of political challenges.

As such, Thailand has been one of the great development success stories, with sustained strong growth and impressive poverty reduction.

In the decade that ended in 1995, the Thai economy was one of the world’s fastest growing at an average rate of 8-9 percent per year. After recovering from the “Asian Crisis” of 1997-1998, the Thai economy took off again

From 2002-2007, Thailand’s growth averaged at around 5 percent.

Thailand’s economic growth slowed because of global economic conditions and political uncertainty in 2009 and again, in 2011, from the devastating floods. However, Thailand’s economic activity is gradually returning to normal, with quarterly economic growth rates now closer to the levels often seen before the global financial crisis began in 2008. The GDP rebounded from the floods at 6.4 percent in 2012 and is forecasted to continue growing at 5.0 percent in 2013.

Primarily due to the high rates of economic growth, poverty has been falling steadily since the late 1980s. Over the last decade, poverty has been reduced from its recent peak of 42.6 percent in 2000 (a result of the 1997 crisis) to about 13.2 percent in 2011. Poverty in Thailand is primarily a rural phenomenon, with 88 percent of the country’s 5.4 million poor living in rural areas.

However, benefits of Thailand’s economic success have not been shared equally, with some regions—particularly, the North and Northeast—lagging behind the rest of the country in terms of poverty reduction.  Inequalities in terms of incomes and opportunities have been persistent. The GINI coefficient, a measurement of income inequality in Thailand, has been persistent at around 0.45 for the last two decades.  Much of the inequalities are inter-regional with the North and the Northeast lagging behind other regions of the country.

via Thailand Overview.

About the author

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You May Also Like

Thai Economy to Accelerate in 2023 on the back of tourists return

The tourism sector is expected to continue to strengthen, with the number of tourist arrivals projected to reach 29 million this year and 35.5 million in 2024.

Thailand’s GDP to grow 3.9% in 2023 says World Bank

The EAP region’s GDP is predicted to accelerate to 5.5% in 2023, with a comeback in China balancing sluggish growth in a number of other economies. Growth in the EAP is predicted to drop to 4.6% and 4.5% in 2024 and 2025, respectively, as China’s economy slows and the rest of the region experiences largely stable growth.

Fitch sticks to Thailand’s BBB+ rating despite Lingering Political and Fiscal Uncertainty

After the recent general election, political and fiscal uncertainty appears likely to continue to be a short-term drag on Thailand’s credit profile, even though the nation continues to benefit from strong external finances, a sound macroeconomic policy framework, and an economic recovery as tourists start to return, according to Fitch Ratings.