The Thai economy in 2010 is projected to grow 7-8 per cent, higher than earlier forecast at 5-6 per cent, owing to favourable factors including growing exports, a more stable political situation and the government’s economic stimulus schemes, according to the director of the Economic and Business Forecasting Center of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC).
The UTCC projection is based on its assumption that the Thai economy in the second half of this year will grow by 4-5 per cent, a slower pace from the first half of this year thanks to the signs of slowing European and US economies, so Thai export growth in the second half of 2010 is likely to drop to 15 per cent, according to Thanawat Polvichai.
However, with more stable domestic politics and oil prices expected to remain around US$85-90 per barrel will bolster local spending to expand 4-5 per cent, a driving force for economy.
Owing to improving tourism and high export in the first half of this year as well as clear signs of economic recovery, GDP in the second quarter may be as high as 8-10 per cent, he said.
The Finance Ministry recently upgraded its 2010 gross domestic product growth forecast to 5.5% from 4.5%. The Bank of Thailand did the same last month, upping its forecast to 6.5%-7.5% growth from the 4.3%-5.8% it projected in April because of surging exports, along with the economy’s ability to shrug off the political unrest.
“Looking long term, there is no way that we would be able to fulfill potential if investors were to feel they have to remain wary of domestic political instability and be wary of the fact that conflict could reoccur at any time,” Mr. Korn said.