Thai economy in second half of 2013 likely to grow 3.5%

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The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce lowered its growth projection for the Thai economy from 4.3 to 3.5 per cent this year.

Thanawat Polvichai, director of the Economic and Business Research Centre of the University of Thai Chamber of Commerce, estimated that the Thai economy in the second half of the year — despite the improved domestic economy — financial crises from the United States, the European Union and Japan could affect the country’s economy to grow only 3.5 per cent, a bit lower from previous projection of 3-4 per cent

Thai exports will expand at 1.5 per cent from the earlier forecast at 3-5 per cent, while imports would expand by 3.9 per cent, resulting in a US$25 billion trade deficit, higher than last year at Bt20 billion.

The inflation rate was estimated at 2.3 per cent on average based on the currency exchange rate of Bt30-31 against the US dollar.

Dr Thanawat attributed the grim outlook of Thai economy and exports in the second half of this year to investors’ lack of confidence in the government’s Bt350 billion flood management plan and in the Bt2 trillion infrastructure investment and delayed budget disbursement.

However, he said that if the conditions above can be managed, the Thai economy next year would likely to grow 4.6-5.5 per cent, exports to increase 5-7 per cent and inflation stay at 2.8-3.3 per cent.