NESDB projects 1% GDP growth

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BANGKOK, Nov 17 — The Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) projects that the Thai economy will grow by 1 per cent this year and 3.5-4.5 per cent next year as the government is speeding up its investment, the global price of crude oil is declining, and Thai exports are recovering. 

The Thai gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 0.6% in the third quarter.

NESDB Secretary-General Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said the Thai economy grew by 0.6 per cent in the third quarter and just 0.2 per cent in the first nine months of this year.

The agency’s anticipated Thai GDP growth rate is revised downwards from 1.5-2.0 per cent to 1 per cent.

He said that the national economy improved from what it had been in the second quarter as the private sector resumed its investment.

Investment in this sector rose by 3.9 per cent after being in steady decline in the four previous quarters.

Household spending increased by 2.2 per cent compared with 0.2 per cent in the third quarter.

Mr Arkhom said that the Bt40 billion subsidy for rice growers and a subsidy for rubber growers would stimulate the economy late this year.

The anticipated 3.5-4.5 per cent economic growth rate next year is based on Thai exports being likely to improve, along with global economic recovery, tourism promotion campaigns and private investment starting next year for projects that won promotional privileges from the Thai government.

Besides, the global crude price is expected to drop lower than US$80 per barrel.

Other positive factors are government investment projects that will stimulate investment in the private sector and a salary hike for civil servants next April.

The value of Thai exports is predicted to rise by 4.0 per cent, household consumption by 2.6 per cent and overall investment by 5.8 per cent.

Headline inflation will run between 1.4-2.4 per cent and the current account surplus is anticipated at 2.2 per cent.