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Thailand’s Q2 growth rate at 2.3%, lowest in 19 quarters

Thailand’s economic think-tank warned that something must be done quickly by the government, otherwise the economic situation will get worse.

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Thailand’s economic growth rate for the second quarter of this year registered at 2.3%, compared to 2.8% for the first quarter, which is the lowest in 19 quarters

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Although the Thai economy is not yet in a critical condition, Mr. Tossaporn Sirisamphan, secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB), Thailand’s economic think-tank warned that something must be done quickly by the government, otherwise the economic situation will get worse.

Commenting on the over 300 billion baht economic stimulus package, approved by the cabinet last week, Mr. Tossaporn said that Thai exports for the second half of the year must expand by at least 3% and tourist arrivals must exceed 20 million, or revenue from tourism must be 2.4 trillion baht, while private investment must increase at least 2.9% in order to reverse the economic slowdown during the third and fourth quarters.

He blamed Thailand’s economic slowdown during the first half of this year to global economic fluctuations, global financial instability, the trade war between the United States and China and the domestic political situation.

Thai exports for the first half of the year contracted by 4% and exports for the second half must expand by at least 3% in order to achieve the anticipated 3% growth rate for the whole year, said the NESDB chief.

He expressed concern, however, over the risk factors for the Thai economy during the second half of the year, citing the continuing US-China trade war, devaluation of the Chinese Yuan currency and the South Korean currency, as well as the bearish stock markets worldwide.

Nevertheless, he is optimistic that the Thai economy will recover during the third and fourth quarters.

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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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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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