The Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) recently announced that Thailand’s economy experienced 2.7% growth in the first quarter of this year – an improvement from 1.4% in the previous quarter’s growth.
The expansion was primarily driven by increased private sector consumption, export activities, and sustained public and private investments. Private consumption rose 5.4%, with notable growth of 11.1% in service expenditures – particularly in the hotel and restaurant sectors.
Thailand’s exports totaled US$69.8 billion in the first quarter, reflecting a 4.6% decrease. Several product categories – such as chemical and petroleum products, automotive parts, computer parts, and rubber – saw declining export values.
Values were meanwhile higher for electric appliances, passenger cars, pickup trucks and air conditioners. While exports to major markets declined, there was a notable expansion in markets such as the Middle East, India and the UK. Imports rose 1.3% to $66.86 billion.
The NESDC projects that Thailand’s economy will grow between 2.7% and 3.7% this year. Key factors supporting growth include tourism sector recovery and sustained domestic consumption.
Private consumption is also expected to expand 3.7%, while public and private investments are forecasted to grow 1.9% and 2.7%, respectively. Export values in U.S. dollars are projected to decrease by 1.6% while the average inflation rate is estimated to range between 2.5% and 3.5%.
Moreover, Thailand is expected to achieve a current account surplus exceeding 1.4% of GDP. (NNT)