Govt urged to urgently spend to stimulate economy

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BANGKOK, Aug 20 – The government must speed up spending of Bt170 billion accrued funds remaining from the 2013 budget to stimulate Thailand’s sagging economy, a senior Finance Ministry official said today.

Ekniti Nitithanprapas, deputy director of the Fiscal Policy Office (FPO), said he has discussed with relevant government agencies the government’s four-point measures for economic stimulus to ensure their speedy application – as an attempt to raise the economy in the present situation as consumption stimulation is insufficient.

The National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) has announced the growth of Thailand’s gross domestic product (GDP) for the second quarter at 2.8 per cent – slightly lower than the FPO’s estimate of 3 per cent.

Mr Ekniti admitted that Thailand’s economy has been in recession in the first two quarters of this year, partly due to the high GDP growth last year and the 10-day shutdown of Yanada offshore gas field in Myanmar in April which affected the Thai industrial sector.

Yanada field, operated by state-run PTT Plc, supplies energy to Thailand and Myanmar.

Mr Ekniti was optimistic that the country’s Q3 economy will be better than Q2, adding that the FPO was accumulating relevant figures and data including Thailand’s exports to Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV group) and inter-regional trade in the Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines (TIP Group) for an updated conclusion on Thailand’s economic prospects.