3.6% economic growth expected this year

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BANGKOK – The Thai economy is expected to expand by 3.6 percent this year, especially in the third and fourth quarters.

University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Research Thanavath Phonvichai said the Thai economy is expected to brow by 3.6 percent this year from contributions in the 2 final quarters, namely the expansion in the tourism and agriculture sectors where 34-35 million tourists are expected to visit the country, generating some 1.4 trillion baht revenue.

The export sector is expected to expand by 2.5-3 percent from the global economic recovery. However the potential effects from the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Accord and the leaving process of the United Kingdom from the European Union must be taken into consideration.

Internal factors which will contribute to the economic growth include the government’s large project investments later this year which will help stimulate the economy, particularly the investment in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC). Meanwhile, the government must focus on the development of grassroots economy and the distribution of income to rural areas in order to encourage investments and employments.

The UTCC vice president added the low inflation rate of the country is still concerning as the country, with current 0.7 percent inflation rate, is now seeing the lowest rate in 14 months, signalling the fragility of the economic growth, while the Thai economy in the 3rd quarter will likely expand from government investments.