FPO projects 4 per cent GDP growth next year

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BANGKOK, Nov 20 — Thailand’s Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) projects that the Thai economy will expand by 4 per cent next year due to rising consumption in the private sector and government spending.

FPO Deputy Director-General Ekniti Nitithanprapas said in a seminar on the Thai economic and industrial outlook in the year ahead that the growth rate would result from increasing consumption in the private sector that should likely continue in the first quarter of next year, starting from the very low growth rate basis this year.

Additionally, he said, oil prices were declining partly because of Thailand’s domestic energy price restructuring.

This will strengthen the public’s purchasing power, which is also strengthened by the low unemployment rate of only 0.8 per cent.

Mr Ekniti warned that household debt caused installment burdens and that lower prices of farm products including natural rubber were negatively affecting the Thai economy.

What he thinks is driving the economy is government spending. He said that only 89 per cent of the 2014 budget had been disbursed due to past political problems.

The disbursement of the remaining budget in the present fiscal year and the spending of state enterprises would create considerable economic activity, Mr Ekniti said.