Thailand Economic Forecast

Thailand Economic Outlook

October 15, 2019

Available data suggests economic growth accelerated in the third quarter from the near five-year low in the second quarter, although the pace of expansion is likely to have remained relatively lackluster nonetheless. In the first two months of the quarter, exports registered no growth over a year ago on average. This was partly due to a continued appreciation of the Thai currency and this has fed through to the domestic economy. In the same time frame, the downturn in the goods-producing sector intensified, while agricultural output continued to fall—albeit at a softer pace—amid a lingering drought. Consequently, annual private consumption growth moderated in July–August, while business and consumer sentiment worsened; however, softening inflationary pressures in the quarter as a whole should have somewhat cushioned the slowdown in household consumption.

Thailand Economic Growth

While economic growth should accelerate next year, risks are tilted to the downside and chiefly stem from the external sector as well as a strong currency. The latter is seen weighing on exports and inbound tourism, translating into weaker domestic demand; fiscal expansion and monetary policy loosening should ease its moderation, however. Our panel expects the economy to expand 3.1% in 2020, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s projection, and 3.4% in 2021.

Thailand Economy Data

20132014201520162017
Population (million)66.867.067.267.567.7
GDP per capita (USD)6,3066,0885,9756,1226,738
GDP (USD bn)421408402413456
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)2.71.03.13.44.0
Consumption (annual variation in %)0.90.82.32.93.0
Investment (annual variation in %)-1.0-2.24.42.91.8
Manufacturing (annual variation in %)1.9-4.00.01.41.8
Retail Sales (annual variation in %)0.0-5.8-0.11.06.3
Unemployment Rate0.60.60.70.81.0
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-1.9-2.9-2.9-2.7-3.5
Public Debt (% of GDP)42.242.543.740.741.2
Money (annual variation in %)4.01.35.74.89.4
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)1.70.6-0.91.10.8
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)2.21.9-0.90.20.7
Inflation (PPI, annual variation in %)0.30.1-4.1-1.20.7
Policy Interest Rate (%)2.252.001.501.501.50
Stock Market (annual variation in %)36.0-13.624.1-17.721.2
Exchange Rate (vs USD)32.7632.9236.0435.7832.64
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)30.6832.4434.2135.2433.90
Current Account (% of GDP)-2.12.96.910.59.7
Current Account Balance (USD bn)-8.811.627.843.444.1
Trade Balance (USD billion)0.017.526.135.832.5
Exports (USD billion)227227213214233
Imports (USD billion)227209187178201
Exports (annual variation in %)0.0-0.2-6.20.49.3
Imports (annual variation in %)-0.1-7.9-10.8-4.813.0
International Reserves (USD)167157157172203
External Debt (% of GDP)33.734.732.632.034.1

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Thailand Facts

ValueChangeDate
Exchange Rate30.560.17 %Sep 04
Stock Market1,659-1.41 %Sep 04

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