Thailand Economic Forecast

Thailand Economic Outlook

May 26, 2020

GDP contracted at the sharpest pace in over eight years in the first quarter, as the fallout from Covid-19 and the measures to curtail its spread hammered the economy. Capital spending sank largely due to a drop in construction activity, while exports fell on a collapse in service sales amid plummeting tourist arrivals in Q1. On the upside, resilient private consumption growth cushioned the downturn somewhat. Turning to the second quarter, GDP looks to be shrinking at an even faster rate. Record-low consumer and business sentiment in April suggest that social distancing and business closures dealt a heavy blow to economic activity. Moreover, the loss of trade privileges with the U.S. in April and plummeting tourist arrivals look set to hammer exports in Q2. Amid the collapse in air travel, the government approved a debt-restructuring plan for state-owned Thai Airways in 19 May.

Thailand Economic Growth

The economy will likely shrink this year as the tourism, retail and manufacturing sectors all reel from the impact of Covid-19. Moreover, plummeting external demand should hammer exports, while heightened uncertainties restrain investment. Government fiscal stimulus and monetary policy action will soften the blow. Risks to the outlook center on the length of the pandemic. Our panel projects the economy to contract 5.4% in 2020, which is down 0.8 percentage points from last month's projection, before growing 4.4% in 2021.

Thailand Economy Data

2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Population (million)67.067.267.567.767.8
GDP per capita (USD)6,0885,9546,1336,7467,455
GDP (USD bn)408400414456505
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)1.03.13.44.14.2
Consumption (annual variation in %)0.82.62.93.14.6
Investment (annual variation in %)-2.24.42.91.83.8
Manufacturing (annual variation in %)-4.00.01.41.83.6
Retail Sales (annual variation in %)-5.8-0.11.06.310.8
Unemployment Rate0.60.70.81.00.9
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-2.9-2.6-3.5-3.5-2.5
Public Debt (% of GDP)42.543.740.641.241.8
Money (annual variation in %)1.35.74.89.42.8
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)0.6-0.91.10.80.4
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)1.9-0.90.20.71.1
Inflation (PPI, annual variation in %)0.1-4.1-1.20.70.4
Policy Interest Rate (%)2.001.501.501.501.75
Stock Market (annual variation in %)-13.624.1-17.721.215.8
Exchange Rate (vs USD)32.9236.0435.7832.6432.40
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)32.4434.2135.2433.9032.28
Current Account (% of GDP)2.96.910.59.65.6
Current Account Balance (USD bn)11.627.843.444.028.5
Trade Balance (USD billion)17.526.135.832.622.4
Exports (USD billion)227213213234251
Imports (USD billion)209187178201229
Exports (annual variation in %)-0.2-5.90.19.57.5
Imports (annual variation in %)-7.9-10.6-5.113.213.7
International Reserves (USD)157157172203206
External Debt (% of GDP)34.732.731.934.032.1

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Thailand Facts

Value Change Date
Exchange Rate30.110.17 %Dec 30

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