Finance Ministry: Q1-2013 GDP is lower than expected

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BANGKOK, 20 May 2013 – The Deputy Prime Minister in charge of economic affairs has conceded that Thai economic growth in the first quarter of this year has been lower than expected. 

Deputy PM and Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong, on Monday, expressed concerns about the economic outlook during the remainder of this year, after official data showed Thai GDP growth of 5.3 percent in the first three months of 2013.

Mr. Kittratt asserted that, in order for the local economy to achieve a growth rate of 5 percent this year, all related offices will have to work more closely and collaboratively while promoting positive investment environment and boosting consumer and tourist confidence.

When asked to comment on the country’s interest rate, the Finance Minister maintained that the Monetary Policy Committee has discretion to decide if a rate cut will be necessary under current circumstances, which it still believes the baht has been moving within an acceptable range.

Nevertheless, Mr. Kittiratt will, on Tuesday, hold a meeting with the Tourism Ministry and the Tourism Authority of Thailand as well as related agencies to discuss the impact of the baht fluctuation on the country’s travel business and the development of this industry.