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Thai economy grew 4.3% in Q3 or 3.8%YOY in the first 9 months of 2017

EIC expects the Thai economy to grow by 3.8% in 2017, up from the previous forecast of 3.6%

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The Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board reported that Thailand’s 3rd quarter GDP grew by 4.3%YOY (compared with the same quarter in the previous year), or 1.0% compared to the previous quarter before seasonal adjustment.

Thai GDP expanded by 3.8%YOY in the first 9 months of 2017

Exports and tourism remain key drivers.

Real export value in Thai baht expanded at the highest rate in 19 quarters, by 8.1%YOY, growing 5.3%YOY during the first 3 quarters of this year thanks to growths in almost all product categories and export markets.

Exports grew both in terms of price and quantity. The continual uptick in crude oil prices in the 3rd quarter boosted oil-related products exports by 25%YOY.

The better-than-expected growth of the global manufacturing sector resulted in demand for key industrial products from Thailand, particularly in the electronics and electrical appliances categories, which expanded more than 11%YOY and 4%YOY, respectively.

Tourism sector remains a key growth booster

Service exports expanded by more than 4.9%YOY thanks to a 11%YOY rise in the number of tourists from China in the 3rd quarter, turning the tide from the previous quarter’s gain of only 0.1%YOY.

 

The percentage increase owes partly to the tougher restrictions on illegal tours that were first enacted during this period last year. Private consumption saw modest growth, driven by high-income spending. Private consumption grew by 3.1%YOY, a small increase from the previous quarter. A key driving factor remains durable goods consumption, particularly automobiles.

Car sales continued growing at a high rate, at 11.6%YOY. Growth of non-durable goods consumption such as food and beverage, however, increased minimally from the previous quarter, while consumption of semi-durable goods such as clothing slowed down.

Exports boosted private investments, while public investments still contracted

Investments in the private sector expanded 2.9%YOY owing mainly to investments in machinery and equipment, which grew by 4.3%YOY. Firms are making investments to up their production capacity in response to increasing exports demand.

Construction investments, on the other hand, fell. On the public side, investments are still contracting at 2.6%YOY, a decline in investments both by the central government and state enterprises since there has been no new mega-projects and some projects are almost completed.

EIC expects the Thai economy to grow by 3.8% in 2017, up from the previous forecast of 3.6%, in line with the global economy, which continually exceeded growth forecasts. The Thai economy stands to benefit from exports in the remaining months.

The economies of main trading partners such as the US, Eurozone, Japan, and China are likely to continue growing from now through to 2018, boosting confidence in trade, investment, and consumption.

This positive global economic outlook will also result in continuing demand for Thai exports. Looking ahead, however, the export sector may face pressure from low oil prices and the likely drop in prices of some commodities.

The Thai baht’s strength relative to competitors in the region may also affect exporters’ competitiveness in terms of price, particularly of commodities.

Private consumption is likely to pick up thanks to better conditions and government support, even as the labor market stagnates. Domestic consumption is likely to recover thanks to a better spending outlook after the floods. Different consumption activities are also set to resume after the mourning period.

Government measures such as support for low-income earners through state welfare cards and tax measures to boost end-of-year spending will also drive up consumption. Still, household purchasing power remains weak, as agricultural products prices remain low and the labor market stagnates. Employment in the first 9 months fell 0.7%YOY. Particularly in the manufacturing sector, employment dropped 3.2%YOY, a sign that recovery in exports has not widely…
Author: Yuwanee Ouinong and Pimnipa Booasang

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Economics

Thai fruit exports to FTA markets up 107 percent

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

The Future of Asia: greener but with a public and private debt hangover

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a perfect storm, destroying jobs, worsening poverty and inequality, and creating a public and private debt problem—especially for countries and firms already in fragile financial health beforehand

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The Sydney Opera resumed live performances and the city of Melbourne recently hosted the Australian Open tennis tournament with fans (mostly) in attendance.

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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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