Thailand’s economic growth will possibly be capped at 4 per cent this year given delays in the state’s 2014 budget spending and the planned Bt2 trillion investment on infrastructure development, a leading banker said today.
Teeranan Srihong, Kasikornbank president, said there were no positive signs contributing to internal economic resurrection in the last four months of the year. He forecast Thailand’s economic expansion by 4.5 per cent next year after the global economy gains strength and the government kicks off some investment projects.
“Wars in some countries have toned down, boosting foreign consumers’ confidence. Thailand’s export sector should improve next year if the Thai currency remains weak as it is,” he said.
Mr Teeranan said Thailand’s overall efficiency has neither improved nor worsened – ranked 27th among 60 countries – as surveyed by the Switzerland-based International Institute for Management Development IMD.
Compared to other countries in Southeast Asia, Thailand is third after Singapore and Malaysia due to its lack of infrastructure development.
The government has mapped out investment plans for various projects but they have never been implemented, diminishing Thailand’s competitiveness in the region and creating concerns that the country’s ranking may drop, he pointed out.
The private sector’s proposals on state investment in research and development of products, and human resources development have never been executed by the government, he said. Expressing concerns on household debt, Mr Teeranan said Kasikornbank has closely monitored the financial situation and found that non-performing loans remain controllable while borrowing expansion was on target at 9-11 per cent. MCOT online news
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.