The Ministry of Finance has adjusted down its GDP forecast for 2022, from 3.5-4.5% to 3-4%, amid a slew of domestic and international factors.
Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith clarified that contributing factors include the current COVID-19 situation, climbing global fuel prices, and the ongoing armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
He nevertheless noted that this year’s projection is still significantly higher than in 2021.
According to the Office of National Economic and Social Development Council, the Thai economy last year expanded by 1.6 percent, recovering from a 6.2-percent contraction in 2020.
The minister said he was confident that the Thai economy will gradually recover as the government relaxes more COVID restrictions. These steps will allow more international and domestic tourists to conveniently engage in tourism activities in the Kingdom, increasing spending.
Minister Arkhom said the export sector remains the main engine driving the Thai economy this year.
According to the Customs Department, export performance for March was still expanding and it expects the sector to grow about 12-15% in the first quarter. The Thai National Shippers’ Council (TNSC) meanwhile projects that Thai exports will expand 5% this year.
However, the Ministry of Finance has set its target for export expansion at 10% and urged the TNSC and exporters to inform the ministry about possible approaches for improving liquidity and performance.
Arkhom added that talks will be held with the Bank of Thailand about maintaining the stability of the baht currency. (NNT)