BANGKOK, 17 February 2014 The Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) has lowered its forecast of the 2014 GDP growth to 3-4% due to delays in the government’s investment projects and dismal domestic consumption.
The NESDB today issued an announcement, in which its GDP growth forecast for this year was adjusted down to 3-4% from the previous prediction of 4-5% made in November 2013. The revision of the GDP growth estimate was attributed partly to pending investments by the public sector, especially in the 2.2-trillion-baht infrastructure megaprojects. Less of the 2014 budget will likely be disbursed due to the unfinished election process and the absence of the new government.
In the private sector, investment is expected to grow only 3.8%, as opposed to 5.8% forecast earlier. Major hindrances include a slowdown in economic recovery and flagging business sentiment. Estimated growth in household spending was also cut down to 1.4% on the back of the weakening consumer confidence.
Furthermore, the NESDB also reduced its estimate of tourist arrivals from 28 million people to 27.5 million, which would constitute a 3% expansion. The agency cited foreign countries’ issuance of travel advisories against Thailand as a reason for the reduction, adding that the number of foreign visitors in January increased by a mere 0.06%.