The Ministry of Finance has said the nation’s fiscal and monetary policy are still operating together to achieve 4% economic growth this year and ensure a full economic recovery.
According to Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, the central bank had forecast that the Thai economy, which expanded 1.6% last year after a 6.2% contraction in 2020, would fully recover in 2024.
He told a business seminar that “Coordination between monetary and fiscal policy will continue until we are confident that the economy is fully recovered.”
Arkhom noted that escalation of the crisis involving Russia and Ukraine could affect Thailand, not only in terms of trade but tourism, as many of its visitors are from Russia.
In January, about 18% of the nearly 134,000 tourists in Thailand were Russian. Official data showed Russians spent 102 billion baht (US$3.14 billion) in the Kingdom in the year before the pandemic.
The Bank of Thailand has left its key rate at a record low of 0.50% since three cuts in 2020 to support the economy, while the government has introduced various measures with planned 1.5 trillion baht borrowing since the pandemic.
Arkhom said there remains 100 billion baht available to help the economy and a new borrowing plan was not yet considered.
He also said the government will mainly borrow domestically due to high liquidity and will borrow about $500 million from Japan this year, adding that more foreign loans would be considered if necessary later.
He expects the public debt to reach 62% of gross domestic product at the end of the current fiscal year ending September, up from 59% at the end of December.