Standard Chartered forecasts Thai economy will grow 4% this year

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BANGKOK – Standard Chartered Bank (Thailand) has forecast that the Thai economy will be able to expand by 4% this year, due to government investments and tax incentives.

A senior economist at Standard Chartered Bank, Usara Wilaipit, said other factors contributing to economic growth include higher consumer spending, better tourism, government megaprojects, and investment incentives for small and medium enterprises.

However, Mrs Usara said the export sector plays a major role in determining economic growth and is affected by the global economy and declining oil prices. Export revenue has fallen because of declining market prices of export goods.

Despite these risks, she claimed the export sector could grow by as much as 3% this year. She speculated that the U.S. Federal Reserve will likely adjust its interest rate policy again in the first quarter of this year. She also expects the Chinese economy will begin to improve in the second half of the year, due to its focus on fiscal policy.