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A challenging Baht for the Thai economy in 2019 ?

Exporters are increasingly worried as the Thai baht continues to perform against the US dollar

Olivier Languepin

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Thanks to Thailand’s walloping US$207 billion of foreign reserves, Thai baht’s climb of about 5% against the dollar in the past six months is the strongest in the world, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. 

This may be good news if you plan to travel abroad, but not so good if your business is exporting Thai products.

According to KBank forecast, the baht’s value could appreciate to 31.50 against the US dollar this quarter because prevailing global financial volatility is poised to compel investors to seek refuge in new safe-haven destinations.

“It will be tough this year,” said Duangrat Prajaksilpthai to the Bangkok Post, an economist at TMB Bank.

“Exports were already expected to slow down because of the impact of the trade war. Baht strength on top of that will curb export revenue when converted to local currency.”


Duangrat Prajaksilpthai, economist at TMB Bank.

The Bank of Thailand raised its benchmark interest-rate in December for the first time since 2011, by a quarter point to 1.75% , but the baht’s climb could complicate the central bank efforts to normalize policy by weighing on already below-target inflation.

Thailand’s current account balance accounted for 10.8% of GDP in 2017, thanks to increasing tourism revenues, is also the eighth highest in the world, based on data compiled by the International Monetary Fund.

Bangkok Correspondent for Siam News Network. Editor at Thailand Business News

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Economics

IMF and SCB lower Thai growth forecast under 3%

IMF and SCB have joined other banks and organisations to predict Thai economic growth under 3% for 2019.

Olivier Languepin

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Siam Commercial Bank’s (SCB) Economics Intelligence Center (EIC) has adjusted its Thailand 2019 economic growth projection from 3 percent down to 2.8 percent.

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Economics

Thailand drops to 40th in WEF Global Competitiveness Report

Thailand’s competitiveness ranking has dropped two spots from 38th to 40th in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index rankings for 2019

Olivier Languepin

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Thailand is the 40 most competitive nation in the world out of 140 countries ranked in the 2018 edition of the Global Competitiveness Report published by the World Economic Forum.

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Economics

Thai private sector cuts economic growth forecast to 2.7-3% from 2.9-3.3%

The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking has revised downward its forecast of Thailand’s economic growth this year to between 2.7 per cent and 3.0 per cent

Boris Sullivan

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The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB) agreed today to lower down the economic growth projection (GDP) to 2.7-3% from 2.9-3.3% due to weakening economic growth during the first three quarters of the year.

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