Thai central bank to adjust GDP growth below 5.1%


BANGKOK, June 29 – The Bank of Thailand (BoT) will review the country’s economic growth, earlier forecast at 5.1 per cent, due to several unfavourable factors, according to a senior official.

Mathee Supapongse, senior director of BoT Macroeconomic and Monetary Policy Department, said the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) will take the issue into consideration in its meeting on July 10.

Domestic consumption and investment have slowed down while export figures were disappointing and China’s economic expansion was lower than predicted, he said, adding that all factors would be raised in the MPC’s meeting.

The BoT’s recent interest rate cut to 2.5 per cent has helped stimulate domestic spending, he said.

Mr Mathee said the BoT would raise the issue on possible delay of the government’s water management megaproject for two years after the Administrative Court ordered a halt to the scheme, pending environmental health impact assessments (EHIAs) and public hearings.

He said private consumer index dropped 0.2 per cent in May year-on-year due to households’ reduced spending and the government’s diminishing economic stimulus.

Exports, declined 5.1 per cent in May, were worth Bt19.494 billion, Mr Mathee said.

Overseas demand for agriculture produce and fishery products has decreased and the electronics industry shrank by 7.8 per cent while private investment was down by 3.3 per cent.

He said the baht, weakened to Bt30.29 against the dollar in May, will remain volatile.

He called on the public and private sectors to be more careful with risk management.