Active economic growth drives Thai GDP up 0.2%


Thailand’s gross domestic product (GDP) will be raised 0.2 percent higher in the next two years, the Bank of Thailand (BoT) announced last week.

BoT Assistant Governor Paiboon Kittisrikangwan said the GDP forecast will be elevated from 4.9 percent to 5.1 percent this year, and from 4.8 percent to 5.0 percent next year, mainly due to impressive economic growth in last year’s Q4 and the economic resurrection of trading partners, especially Japan and some other Asian countries.

A clearer picture of the government’s Bt2 trillion investment in infrastructure projects will contribute to capital injections into the economy expected to absorb Bt17 billion in circulation this year and Bt93 billion next year, he said.

Paiboon said the Thai economy will rocket much beyond the BoT’s forecast if the capital injections reach Bt220 billion as targeted by the government.

However, Thailand’s exports may increase at 7.5 percent this year, below the 9 percent forecast – a phenomenon which the BoT blames partly on the rapid appreciation of the baht and the sluggish global economy.

The central bank has been concerned with surging household debt and increasing risk-taking behavior among investors in the stock and property markets, he said.

“We have to closely monitor investors’ movements to ensure it does not jeopardize the overall economic stability,” he said.

The inflation rate has been stable with the base inflation rate at 1.6 percent and the general inflation rate at 2.7 percent, while pressure on capital has slightly increased due to higher crude oil prices.