FPO: Thai economy continued to expand in March


BANGKOK, 28 April 2012  – The Fiscal Policy Office has affirmed that the local economy continued to grow satisfactorily in March, while warning that a number of key risk factors that may hamper economic growth remain. 

Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) Director General Somchai Sujjapongse said that the Thai economy in the month of March has demonstrated a continuous recovery from severe flooding in 2011 and has driven the country’s GDP in Q1-2012 at 2 percent.

Mr. Somchai stated that the 3 consecutive months of rise in auto sales is in line with the industrial confidence index at 102.1 in March, which is the fourth consecutive month of increase as well.

The FPO chief added that there remain a number of factors, which are out of control and need constant monitoring, including the drought crisis, the high global oil prices and the global economic recession as well domestic political conflicts.

He went on to say that March inflation stood at 3.5 percent, which was higher than in the preceding month but still under control.

Mr. Somchai also said that the increase in the country’s bus fare and electricity FT charge may hurt consumer spending to a certain level.

In any case, he forecasted that Thai GDP growth rate in 2012 should end up at 5.5 percent, which is still within its estimate of 5-6 percent.