Thailand’s GDP saw 4.5% growth in the third quarter of 2022, with annual growth now projected to reach 3.2% this year, according to the National Economics and Social Development Council (NESDC). The agency also expects the tourism sector to generate some 570 billion baht in revenue for 2022.
Thailand’s Q3 economic performance has shown consecutive growth since Q4 2021, when growth was recorded at 1.8%.
The NESDC said accelerating private consumption and investments, together with growth in exported services, were key drivers for Q3, even as exported goods and government investments saw a slowdown.
NESDC Secretary-General Danucha Pichayanan said the tourism sector has greatly contributed to the economic recovery, with the number of visitors expected to grow by 50% this year.
He also said Thailand’s annual GDP growth this year is now projected to reach 3.2%, with an inflation rate of 6.3%. For 2023, the NESDC has readjusted its growth projection to 3.5%, with inflation between 2.5-3.5%.
Danucha added that the government will not need to issue another major economic measure this year, given the nation’s rather high 200 billion baht in foreign exchange reserves.
He also said the government should consider issuing smaller, targeted measures to encourage public spending and help reduce cost of living expenses. The NESDC is currently considering proposing such measures to the Cabinet for approval.
The NESDC secretary-general noted that household and business debts will be major challenges for the Thai economy next year amid rising interest rates. Employment has meanwhile been slow to fully recover for some industries and persisting pandemic uncertainties will also continue to pose a challenge.
The council now expects Thailand to generate some 1.2 trillion baht from 23.5 million international tourists next year, based on expectations that China will relax its international travel restrictions in the second half of 2023. (NNT)