Finance Ministry expects 2013 budget deficit to ease significantly

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BANGKOK, 10 February 2012  – The Finance Minister is hopeful that the government budget in fiscal 2013 will see smaller deficit, while predicting an economic growth of at least 8% for next year. 

Mr. Kittirat Na-Ranong, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, said on Thursday that he and other state offices in charge of economy agreed that the fiscal 2013 budget deficit will be smaller than in 2012.

Mr. Kittiratt made the prediction after his meeting with representatives from the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) and the Fiscal Policy Office (FPO).

He stated that a small deficit is likely due to an expected drop in tax collection after the Revenue Department announced a reduction of personal income tax from 23% to 20% in fiscal 2013.

The Finance Minister added that the growth of the 2013 GDP is forecast at no less than 8%, a consensus from the Bank of Thailand, the FPO and the NESDB. At the same time, next year’s inflation rate is pegged at 3-4%.

When asked about the economic recovery in 2012, Mr. Kittiratt said that the NESDB and the FPO both estimated that local economy will start recovering at the end of the first quarter, or in the second quarter at the latest. But the Bank of Thailand believes the pick-up should begin only in the third quarter.