The Asian Development Bank ADB will revise its forecast on Thailand’s economic growth for this year from 4.9 per cent to 4-4.3 per cent. Luxmon Attapich, senior ADB economist, said the country’s export growth would be adjusted to 8 per cent due to an export slowdown.
Household debts have also affected domestic spending, she said. Dr Luxmon said global economic revival, particularly in the US and Europe in the second half of the year, should be closely monitored as it would have an impact on Thailand’s exports. Accelerated spending of the national budget in the third and fourth quarters will boost the private sector’s investment while the government’s investment on Bt2 trillion infrastructure projects, if implemented next year, will help move Thailand’s economy forward, she said.
She said the ADB earlier predicted outflows of foreign capital from Thailand after an announcement by the US Federal Reserve to scale down its economic stimulus through quantitative easing, adding that the situation in Thailand was less severe than in Indonesia and India due to the kingdom’s solid economic fundamentals and large foreign reserves.
The ADB was not concerned with the high level of household debts given normal repayment, she said. In its report on Asia’s Economic Transformation, the ADB says Thailand is becoming an industrial country given its industrial productivity at higher than 18 per cent compared to gross domestic product GDP and employment in the industrial sector at more than 18 per cent.
Thailand, however, remains a low income country due to its high employment rate of 40 per cent in the agricultural sector compared to the industrial sector, according to the report. With higher per capita income, the Thai government should upgrade the education standard to usher its population into the industrial sector, the report suggests. Becoming an industrial country will boost the people’s income and welfare, and reduce the income gap, says the report. It says the ADB looks forward to an increase in Thailand’s per capita income from US$5,000 to the standard level of US$12,500. MCOT online news