In the first quarter of 2023, the Thai economy continued to improve from the previous quarter, mainly driven by improvement in both foreign and Thai tourists which bolstered services and private consumption, according to the Bank of Thailand (BoT).
The value of merchandise export increased in line with manufacturing production and private investment. Public expenditure also expanded from the previous year from both current and capital expenditures, while investment expenditures of state-owned enterprises contracted from the same period last year.
On the economic stability front, headline and core inflation decreased mainly due to the high base effect from last year.
Labor market improved in line with the economic recovery. The current account recorded higher surplus due to an increase in tourism revenue, while surplus in the trade balance remained close to the previous quarter.
In March 2023, the Thai economy slowed down compared to the previous month. The value of merchandise exports excluding gold declined from the previous month, which was in line with weaker manufacturing production and private investment.
Private consumption remained stable after durable goods had a good expansion in the preceding period. However, activities in the service sector continued to improve, following a good outturn in the number of Thai and foreign tourists. Spending of the central government also expanded from both current and investment expenditures.