Thailand posts highest quarterly GDP growth in four years

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Thailand’s economy grew at the fastest pace in more than four years, led by a surge in tourism arrivals and agriculture exports. Gross domestic product {GDP} rose 3.7 per cent in the second quarter from a year ago after expanding 3.3 per cent in the first quarter, the National Economic and Social Development Board said on August 21. Growth exceeded economist’s expectation of a median of 3.2 per cent.

The agriculture sector surged 15.8 per cent in second quarter from a year ago, and was up from 5.7 per cent in the first quarter, while the hotel and restaurants sector climbed 7.5 per cent and transport and storage rose 8.6 per cent year-on-year.

However, manufacturing growth slowed to one per cent from 1.3 per cent and construction contracted 6.2 per cent.

Based on the new figures, Thailand’s statistics bureau revised the country’s GDP growth forecast for this year to between 3.5 per cent and four per cent from a range of 3.3 per cent to 3.8 per cent. The Thai central bank projects full-year growth of 3.5 per cent.

Analysts say that despite the surprising GDP growth, it remains to be seen whether it is sustainable, given the continued weak domestic consumption and the strength of the baht against the US dollar. It appears that the growth is mainly owing to improving global economic conditions that foster trade, but less so to Thailand’s domestic economic conditions which are still hampered by weak consumption and subdued private investments, although more public spending in infrastructure should offset this weakness to some extent. 

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Thailand’s economy grew at the fastest pace in more than four years, led by a surge in tourism arrivals and agriculture exports. Gross domestic product {GDP} rose 3.7 per cent in the second quarter from a year ago after expanding 3.3 per cent in the first quarter, the National Economic and Social Development Board said on August 21. Growth exceeded economist's expectation of a median of 3.2 per cent. The agriculture sector surged 15.8 per cent in second quarter from a year ago, and was up from 5.7 per cent in the first quarter, while the hotel and restaurants sector...

Reading Time: 1 minute

Thailand’s economy grew at the fastest pace in more than four years, led by a surge in tourism arrivals and agriculture exports. Gross domestic product {GDP} rose 3.7 per cent in the second quarter from a year ago after expanding 3.3 per cent in the first quarter, the National Economic and Social Development Board said on August 21. Growth exceeded economist’s expectation of a median of 3.2 per cent.

The agriculture sector surged 15.8 per cent in second quarter from a year ago, and was up from 5.7 per cent in the first quarter, while the hotel and restaurants sector climbed 7.5 per cent and transport and storage rose 8.6 per cent year-on-year.

However, manufacturing growth slowed to one per cent from 1.3 per cent and construction contracted 6.2 per cent.

Based on the new figures, Thailand’s statistics bureau revised the country’s GDP growth forecast for this year to between 3.5 per cent and four per cent from a range of 3.3 per cent to 3.8 per cent. The Thai central bank projects full-year growth of 3.5 per cent.

Analysts say that despite the surprising GDP growth, it remains to be seen whether it is sustainable, given the continued weak domestic consumption and the strength of the baht against the US dollar. It appears that the growth is mainly owing to improving global economic conditions that foster trade, but less so to Thailand’s domestic economic conditions which are still hampered by weak consumption and subdued private investments, although more public spending in infrastructure should offset this weakness to some extent. 

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