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2013 growth forecast slashed to 2.8%

Thailand’s 2013 growth projection has been lowered from 3.7 per cent to 2.8 per cent while the growth forecast next year has fallen to 4 per cent, reduced from the previous projection at 5.1 per cent, a senior official said today.

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Thailand’s 2013 growth projection has been lowered from 3.7 per cent to 2.8 per cent while the growth forecast next year has fallen to 4 per cent, reduced from the previous projection at 5.1 per cent, a senior official said today.  

Somchai Sajjapong, director of the Fiscal Policy Office FPO, said delayed global economic recovery will push down the country’s exports by 0.6 per cent while domestic consumption and investment confidence are also affected.

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About 300,000 foreign tourists will not materialise if the political unrest continues while the government’s investment in mega projects will stimulate the economy by only 10 per cent and growth domestic product GDP by 3.5 per cent, he said.In the worst case, the GDP could plunge to less than 3 per cent, said Mr Somchai, who admitted that the political stalemate would be more volatile than external factors.

He said the Finance Ministry and the Bank of Thailand have closely monitored the non-performing loan situation in light of the sluggish economy which will lead to default.It is risky if the current non-performing level at 2-3 per cent increases to 5-6 per cent, he said.Mr Somchai said the government sector and state enterprises were instructed to speed up their disbursements of Cabinet-approved spending in the 2014 budget year.

The government has worked on a Bt250 billion budget deficit while new economic stimulus measures were not carried out, he said.He was not concerned with inflation given the global oil price at US$105 per barrel, but warned that the US downsizing of the economic stimulus through quantitative easing may weaken the Thai currency at Bt30,20-32.20 against the dollar. MCOT online news

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