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Thailand’s Q1 growth reaches 4.8 percent to Five-Year High

Thailand’s first quarter growth has expanded by 5 year high of 4.8 percent, according to the country’s economic monitoring agency.

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Thailand’s first quarter growth has expanded by 5 year high of 4.8 percent, according to the country’s economic monitoring agency.

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Deputy Secretary-General of the National Economic and Social Development Board, Wichayayuth Boonchit revealed that the high growth was attributed to a 3.6 percent boost in private sector consumption as a result of the government’s assistance plan for low income citizens.

Low inflation and interest rates, coupled with continued private sector investment from last year’s 4th quarter, were also contributing factors. reports Thailand’s news agency NNT

Most notably, applications for investment assistance in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) have reached 165 billion baht while government investment has seen positive growth for the first time in four quarters.

Meanwhile, exports have continued to expand at a rate of 9.9 percent, approaching 61.9 billion US dollars. Increased demand due to growth in exports and private sector consumption has resulted in a 3.7 percent growth in the industrial sector due to increased demand.

The agricultural sector has also benefited from favorable weather conditions and sufficient water supply, expanding at a rate of 6.5. In addition, the tourism sector has garnered up to 573 billion baht from foreign visitors and 267 billion from domestic tourists.

The board has therefore adjusted its growth forecast for this year to 4.5 percent, up from the previous figure of 4.1, with a range of between 4.2 and 4.7 percent.

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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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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Economics

Customs Department Considers Measures to Help SMEs

National News Bureau of Thailand

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BANGKOK (NNT) – The Customs Department is seeking ways to reduce the impact of the exemption on import tax and value-added tax (VAT) for imported goods worth up to 1,500 baht, as such measures are hurting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

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