NESDB cuts GDP growth forecast to 3.8-4.3%

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BANGKOK, 19 August 2013 The National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) has revised its 2013 GDP growth forecast down to 3.8-4.3% from 4.2-5.2% due to sluggish exports and decreasing household spending. 

NESDB Secretary-General Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said the Thai economic growth in the second quarter of 2013 was at only 2.8%, lower than the first quarter’s growth of 5.4%. The first half of the year saw 4.1% growth with exports expanding just 1%. Domestic consumption grew 3.4% while investment in the private sector increased only 5.1% in the same period. Mr Arkhom indicated that the only factor currently driving the Thai economy was the tourism sector.

Such gloomy economic situation has prompted the NESDB to cut this year’s GDP growth forecast to 3.8-4.3%, as opposed to the previous projection of 4.2-5.2%.

According to the NESDB, exports in the second half of the year would need to expand 8.7% or have a total value of 21 billion baht a month in order for the export growth of the whole year to reach 5%.

The NESDB is closely monitoring the recovery of the European, U.S., and Japanese economies as well as the slowdown of the Chinese economy. The agency is also keeping a cautious eye on impacts from the expiration of the government’s stimulus measures, domestic political problems and delays in the two-trillion-baht infrastructure investment, all of which are considered risk factors to the Thai economic expansion.