Political conflict drags Thai economy down, reducing growth to 3.5-4% next year


BANGKOK, Nov 5 – Leading Thai economists say the ongoing political conflicts will dampen the country’s growth which is forecast at 3.5-4 per cent next year. 

Korbsak Phutrakun, Bangkok Bank Plc executive vice president, analysed that the Thai economy in Q3 may grow slightly from the previously forecast 5 per cent, resulting in next year’s economy to increase at no more than 3.5-4 per cent. Such a figure could affect foreign investor confidence in Thailand as well as impacting the tourism industry.

He warned that the government may not be able to continue its Bt2 trillion infrastructure development, for it will need time to restore political stability.

Meanwhile, former deputy prime minister/finance minister Pridiyathorn Devakula said the government should listen to ongoing protests against the controversial Amnesty Bill. He also viewed that if the Senate rejects the bill, which is to be deliberated next Monday, Thailand’s credit rating will not be affected.

However, Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) president Payungsak Chartsuthipol commented that the Thai economy next year is expected to grow at more than 4 per cent, thanks to the overall health of ASEAN economies that have grown over 4 per cent.

He added that FTI is surveying its members countrywide on the Amnesty Bill. A meeting will be held this Friday to determine the organisation’s stance on the bill.