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Economic recovery should Continue if no political violence

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The Bank of Thailand expects a continued economic recovery, based on positive indicators last month, particularly for exports and tourism.

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However, any political unrest will be taken into account for next month’s forecast review.

Suchart Sakkankosone, senior director of the BOT’s Domestic Economy Department, said political movements would be closely monitored to determine whether they were affecting the domestic economy.

Central-bank figures show export value increased 31.4 per cent to US$13.63 billion (Bt450 billion) last month, while international tourist arrivals numbered 1.61 million.

The Private Consumption Index also continued its climb towards pre-crisis levels, thanks to higher farm prices and employment and the government's stimulus package.

Private investment was positive for the eighth consecutive month, up 1.4 per cent from last December and 5.2 per cent year on year.

January’s headline inflation expanded 4.1 per cent year on year and 3.5 per cent month on month, due to higher energy and food prices. Core inflation, excluding volatile energy and food prices, rose only 0.6 per cent year on year and 0.3 per cent month on month. Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) director-general Sathit Rangkasiri believes Thailand's first-quarter performance will show an improvement over the fourth quarter's 5.8-per-cent growth rate.

However, he cautioned his optimism was based on assumptions of no political violence. The FPO will review the economic forecast next month.

via Economic recovery to Continue if no political violence.

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Economics

50:50 campaign may not get immediate extension

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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.

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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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