BoT asserts Thai economy picking up slowly this year

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BANGKOK, June 12 – Bank of Thailand (BoT) Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul said today that the Thai economy has started to show positive signs but its growth would not be fast this year.

Addressing the Euromoney Conference: The Greater Mekong Investment Forum, Mr Prasarn said consumers had confidence but household spending had not returned to normal because household debts remained high.

He also said that disbursement of the 2015 budget would begin this October as planned, but it would not fully benefit the national economy until next year.

Meanwhile, the private sector is waiting for a clear implementation of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) roadmap. Therefore, its investment should fully recover next year, Mr Prasarn said.

The BOT governor commented that Thai exports will grow this year but would be a stronger force supporting the national economy next year because the global economy and the economic situation of trading parties were expected to fully recover next year.

Overseas funds were returning to the Stock Exchange of Thailand, he said.

Gov Prasarn said the Monetary Policy Committee will review its Thai economic growth rate forecast on June 18. Earlier it expected the Thai economy would grow less than 2.7 per cent this year and commented that the repurchase rate at 2 per cent was low, suitable to stimulate the national economy.

He also called for reasonable economic policies and cited ‘unreasonable policies’ such as the rice-pledging scheme and the first-car buyer scheme of the past government as shaking investor confidence.

Mr Prasarn recommended that in the medium term Thailand should solve its weakness and enhance its competitiveness.

Regarding energy prices, he said the NCPO should let market mechanisms govern them.