Thailand has seen a significant jump in growth, smashing expectations forecasted in the first quarter. Thailand’s economic growth is likely to come close to 4% this year after robust momentum continued in October, despite low activity in the month as the country mourned the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, says a key finance official.
The National Economics and Social Development Board (NESDB) says Gross Domestic Product growth (GDP) for the third quarter of this year rose to 4.3%, prompting it to adjust growth forecast for the whole year.
It says the 4.3% GDP growth is the highest growth in the past 18 months – after expanding by 3.8% in the second quarter and 3.3% in the first quarter. In the first nine months of 2017, the economy grew by 3.8% year-on-year.
The economy in October avoided a slowdown, and whether GDP growth can reach 4% for all of 2017 will depend on exports in the final two months, said Soraphol Tulayasathien, director of the Macroeconomic Policy Bureau at the Fiscal Policy Office (FPO).
Contributing factors were higher exports and consumer consumption in the private sector, and state spending and investments. Meanwhile, the economy was also buoyed by industrial production, retail and wholesale business, electrical and gas, hospitality, transport and communications. Tourism has been hit due to the funeral and mourning period of the late king, but has jumped back to its normal levels quickly. Exports rose for an eighth straight month in October, up 13.1% year-on-year, while the 10-month figure jumped 9.7% year-on-year.
With the higher growth forecast, the NESDB says it will raise its forecast for this year to 3.9% from its projection of 3.5-4.0%. To hit 4% growth, the economy must expand by at least 4.7% in the fourth quarter, Mr. Soraphol said. For next year, the NESDB says the growth forecast is expected to be in the range of 3.6-4.6%.
National Economic Development Board