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Recovering Exports push Thai GDP to 3.3% in Q1

The economy expanded at its fastest quarterly pace in four years in the first quarter, boosted by recovering exports, said NESDB in its latest report.

Olivier Languepin

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The economy expanded at its fastest quarterly pace in four years in the first quarter, boosted by recovering exports, said NESDB in its latest report.

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Releasing a report on the quarterly growth, Porametee Vimolsiri, secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Board, said the agency was now confident the economy would expand by at least 3.5 per cent this year, up from 3.2 per cent last year.

The Thai government raised its export outlook for 2017, suggesting the recovery was gaining traction but the economy still faces rising global trade protectionism and capital outflow risks and the monetary policy will likely remain loose to cushion still-subdued investment activity.

Exports jumped 6.6%

Exports in the first quarter jumped 6.6% from a year earlier and household spending increased 3.2% while overall public and private investment rose 1.7%, NESDB data showed.

Gross domestic product grew a seasonally adjusted 1.3% in the first quarter from the fourth, aided also by household holding and tourism, the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) said.

Agricultural production sector grew by 7.7%

The agricultural sector has now expanded for three consecutive quarters, this time by 7.7 per cent, but manufacturing grew just 1.2 per cent, decelerating from a 2.2-per-cent pace in the fourth quarter of 2016, the NESDB said.

Gross Domestic Product in 2017Q1 rose by 3.3%, accelerating from a 3.0% growth in 2016Q4.

On the production side, the agricultural production sector grew robustly by 7.7%, accelerating from 3.0% in 2016Q4 as a result of a strong increase in major crop production particularly paddy, maize, and oil palm. In addition, price of agricultural products also increased.

Read the full NESDB report here

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China, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Australia and Chile are top importers of Thai fruits, especially fresh durian, mangosteen, longan and mango. Thai exporters are able to benefit from FTA privileges.

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – Thailand’s fruit exports continue to increase, despite the sluggish global economy caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, with key trade partners being countries that have free trade agreements (FTAs) with the kingdom.

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Economics

50:50 campaign may not get immediate extension

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – The government’s 50:50 co-pay campaign expiring on 31st March may not be getting an immediate campaign extension. The Minister of Finance says campaign evaluation is needed to improve future campaigns.

The Minister of Finance Arkhom Termpittayapaisith today announced the government may not be able to reach a conclusion on the extension of the 50:50 co-pay campaign in time for the current 31st March campaign end date, as evaluations are needed to better improve the campaign.

Originally introduced last year, the 50:50 campaign is a financial aid campaign for people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, in which the government subsidizes up to half the price of purchases at participating stores, with a daily cap on the subsidy amount of 150 baht, and a 3,500 baht per person subsidy limit over the entire campaign.

The campaign has already been extended once, with the current end date set for 31st March.

The Finance Minister said that payout campaigns for the general public are still valid in this period, allowing time for the 50:50 campaign to be assessed, and to address reports of fraud at some participating stores.

The Fiscal Police Office Director General and the Ministry of Finance Spokesperson Kulaya Tantitemit, said today that a bigger quota could be offered in Phase 3 of the 50:50 campaign beyond the 15 million people enrolled in the first two phases, while existing participants will need to confirm their identity if they want to participate in Phase 3, without the need to fill out the registration form.

Mrs Kulaya said the campaign will still be funded by emergency loan credit allocated for pandemic compensation, which still has about 200 billion baht available as of today.

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