Ministry of Finance states economy likely to grow no more than 3%

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BANGKOK, 16 July 2015 – The Ministry of Finance has said that economic growth will likely shrink further due to sluggish exports.

Minister of Finance Sommai Phasee said the second half of the year would underperform the first half, pushing this year’s economic growth down to 2.6 percent. He blamed the troubled export sector, which was forecast to suffer a deficit of 1.7 percent this year.

Mr. Sommai explained that investments by the public and the private sector expanded 4.2 and 15.3 percent, respectively, but were unable to offset lackluster exports. The government’s investments represent no more than 22 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), whereas exports account for 74-75 percent of GDP.

The government this year has planned to speed up its stimulus plan, particularly the 78-billion-baht water management and road construction projects. The government and its contractors have approved 60-70 percent of the projects’ budget. Disbursement will begin in August.

As for next year, the government has given the green light for planned construction of three new motorways and a few more subway lines.