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Kasikorn Research is forecasting GDP growth of 3.7 % this year despite a number of uncertainties in the global economy that need to be monitored closely.
A stronger than expected recovery in tourism may help offset slowing growth in other segments, says Kasikorn Research. It also forecasts that Thailand will welcome 28.5 million tourists this year, up from the previous estimate of 25.5 million.
Slowdown in the US economy may affect Thailand
But a slowdown in the US economy may affect Thailand through trade channels, particularly the export sector. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting earlier this week saw the Fed slowing down after increasing its policy rate by 0.25%.
The market anticipated that the Fed would raise its policy rate by 0.50% before the failure of two US banks.
Volatile baht in the 2nd quarter
It expects the baht to remain highly volatile in the second quarter of this year. However, the Fed’s less aggressive policy-rate hikes may cause the baht to strengthen.
Due to the robust balance sheet diversification of Thai commercial banks, the recent issues faced by several Western banks have had little effect on Thailand.
Additionally, Thai commercial banks are closely regulated by the Bank of Thailand and the Ministry of Finance, have enough capital and liquidity levels, and maintain their competitiveness on a worldwide scale.