Thailand analyses impact of US government shutdown

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BANGKOK, Oct 2 – Prime Minister Yingluck Shinwatra was assured today that the US government shutdown, which would probably affect the third quarter (Q3) American economy by 0.1 per cent, should ease up soon.

Bank of Thailand Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul told a government meeting updating the economic situation, chaired by the prime minister, that the conditional US government funding would be short term.

A similar three-week situation in the US in the past cost the country’s economy US$20 billion but the impact was mainly domestic, while the Thai private sector was only slightly affected, the premier was told.

Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, secretary general of the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB), told the meeting that signs of global economic recovery started with higher overseas purchasing power from Q4 untill next year.

He outlined three major issues that should be specially monitored: the US Federal Reserve’s slower economic stimulus through quantitative easing, the US government shutdown and economic situation in the European Union.

Ms Yingluck was reportedly concerned that Thai small and medium enterprises (SMEs) would fail to cope with dynamic economic changes and instructed the NESDB collaborate with the Finance Ministry in forming an ad hoc committee to analyse the needs of SME operators and help them adjust to the changing environment.

Wiboonlasana Ruamraksa, Internal Trade Department director general, said prices of consumer products have been closely monitored to ensure fairness to consumers and manufacturers have been asked to maintain the present prices.

Major manufacturers and retail operators are holding events offering reduced prices of more than 2,000 consumer product items until year-end, she said.