PM expects this year’s GDP growth to reach 3%

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Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha said the annual GDP growth for 2016 is expected to be in the range of 3 to 3.5 percent.

According to the prime minister, the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) has forecast continued growth in the second half of this year, bringing the country’s expected GDP to 3-3.5 percent.

This projected growth is a reflection of increased confidence in various sectors. For instance, household spending has increased by 3.8 percent.

Meanwhile, automobile sales have grown by 4.8 percent, marking the first time the sector has seen positive growth in 13 quarters. Government spending has also grown by 10.4 percent and will continue to grow in the second half of the year, as 1.64 trillion baht will be allocated for government expenditure, investments in infrastructure and state enterprises.

He said applications for investment support this year had risen by as much as 419 percent, which is a reflection of much higher confidence apparent among foreign investors and the country’s private sector.

He noted that Thailand’s economic stability is in good shape, with unemployment at 1.1%, inflation at 0.3%, and a balance of trade surplus of 300 billion baht, or equivalent to 8.5% of the GDP.