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ADB cuts Thai growth outlook to 4.3%

The report says that manufacturing in Malaysia and Thailand was undercut by weaker demand from trade partners

Bahar Karaman

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Credits : ADB

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has slashed its economic growth forecasts for Thailand to 4.3% this year and 4.1% next year as the global economy sputters.

The growth forecast for 2018 was trimmed from 4.5% predicted in September to 4.3% after the third quarter expansion slowed to 3.3% from 4.6% in the second quarter, according to an update of the Manila-based institution’s Asian Development Outlook report.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has retained its growth forecast for Southeast Asia at 5.1 percent for 2018 assuming robust consumption and infrastructure investment, says a report from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) released on Wednesday.

Growth in domestic consumption and private investment were offset by falling exports in the third quarter. On the production side, manufacturing growth decelerated by half to 1.6% in the three months through September from 3.2% in the preceding quarter, mainly reflecting slower growth in vehicle production, it said.

“Moderation in global demand for exports is, however, dampening growth prospects for the subregion, and particularly for Malaysia and Thailand, in 2018 and 2019,” the report says.

On the production side, the report says that Myanmar and Thailand benefitted from improved agricultural output, which languished in Indonesia, Laos and the Philippines in the wake of natural disasters and bad weather.

Moreover, the report says that manufacturing in Malaysia and Thailand was undercut by weaker demand from trade partners, but it expanded in Cambodia and Vietnam.

Export volume fell in the third quarter as the volume of agricultural exports dropped because of a high base effect, but also pressure from China–US trade tensions, a decline in domestic aquaculture production, and weaker growth in manufacturing export volume as economic growth slowed in some trade partners and tensions rose over protectionist trade measures.

Earlier this month, US President Donald Trump and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping agreed to a 90-day truce on further tariffs as they try to negotiate a deal.

The ADB also kept its 6.6% and 6.3% growth projections for China, as well as its 7.3% and 7.6% growth expectations for India for both years.

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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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