Central bank reports economic slowdown in July

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Thailand’s economy continued to decline in July in every sector linked with a 0.7 per cent decrease in private consumption, said an official of the Bank of Thailand (BoT).

Mathee Supapongse, senior director of BoT’s Macroeconomic and Monetary Policy Department, said purchases of automobiles and durable products as well as private investment have declined.

July’s exports shrank by 1.3 per cent year-on-year to US$18.804 billion, he said.

“It could not be indicated if the Thai economy has reached its bottom but there was a positive sign that the economy in Q3 would be better than Q2. We need to wait for the August performance,” said Mr Mathee.

The current account deficit in July was US$709 million, an increase from US$664 million in the preceding month, due to gold imports, he said, adding that, excluding gold imports, the country enjoyed a current account surplus of US$255 million.

He was optimistic that Thailand would not encounter a serious current account deficit problem such as has happened to India.

Price rises in liquefied petroleum gas and expressway fees, starting Sunday, would have a slight impact on Thailand’s inflation which should be in the predicted framework of 0.5 per cent.