NESDB: Thai economy grows 0.3% in Q1 2012

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BANGKOK, May 21 – The Thai economy grew 0.3 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2012 and by 11 per cent compared with the fourth quarter of 2011, according to the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB).

Secretary-General Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said the first quarter growth was mainly due to the recovery of production, consumption, investment and tourism sectors alike after the massive flood in 2011.

This year’s economy was forecast to grow 5.5-6.5 per cent driven by domestic demand and the production sector’s recovery.

Household consumption and investment were expected to increase 4.5 and 12.3 per cent respectively, while export value would rise 15.1 per cent. Inflation rates would stay within the range of  3.5-4.0 per cent, employment rate at 0.7 per cent, and the current account surplus at 0.7 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), Mr Arkhom said.

He noted this year’s economic policy will focus on speeding up budget disbursement for the rehabilitation process, building confidence among investors, restructuring national economy to boost long-term competitive capability; finding solutions for the recovery of flood-hit production businesses, particularly electric appliances, electronics, and textiles and leather affected by local economic problems respectively.

In addition, other priorities include measures assisting entrepreneurs affected by the minimum wage raise policy, promoting production’s efficiency, measures helping labourers dismissed during the business adjustment period; tackling rising consumer goods prices and implementing monetary policy in response to current economic conditions .