Thailand Economic Forecast

Thailand Economic Outlook

March 19, 2019

The country is gearing up for elections scheduled for 24 March, which the current military junta leader Prayut Chan-o-cha is expected to win. On the economic front, domestic demand fueled the acceleration in economic growth in the fourth quarter of last year and early data on the domestic economy in Q1 2019 remains fairly positive. Private consumption and private sector investments grew robustly in January, with the former reaping the fruits of low unemployment and moderate inflation. However, manufacturing operating conditions and business sentiment worsened in February. On the external front, Thailand recorded its largest trade deficit in January since April 2013 on a surge in imports and a drop in exports. The latter was weighed down by an appreciating currency and trade tensions dragging on demand from China and Europe.

Thailand Economic Growth

Economic growth should moderate somewhat this year despite strong fixed investment and public expenditure. Downside risks remain present in the Sino-American trade conflict, which could spill over and drag on Thailand’s exports, while domestic tensions could rise in the aftermath of the general election. Our panel expects the economy to expand 3.6% in 2019, which is down 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast, and 3.6% again in 2020.

Thailand Economy Data

20132014201520162017
Population (million)68.368.768.869.069.1
GDP per capita (USD)6,1725,9375,8195,9706,591
GDP (USD bn)422408401412455
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)2.71.03.03.33.9
Consumption (annual variation in %)0.90.82.33.03.2
Investment (annual variation in %)-1.0-2.24.32.80.9
Manufacturing (annual variation in %)1.9-4.00.01.42.5
Retail Sales (annual variation in %)0.0-5.8-0.11.06.2
Unemployment Rate0.60.60.70.81.0
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-1.9-2.9-2.9-2.8-3.5
Public Debt (% of GDP)42.242.543.740.741.8
Money (annual variation in %)3.91.35.74.89.4
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)-1.23.78.011.710.6
Current Account Balance (USD bn)-4.915.232.148.248.1
Trade Balance (USD billion)0.117.226.836.631.8
Exports (USD billion)228227214214235
Imports (USD billion)228210187178203
Exports (annual variation in %)0.3-0.6-5.90.49.5
Imports (annual variation in %)0.3-8.1-11.0-4.814.2
International Reserves (USD)167157157172203
External Debt (% of GDP)33.734.832.732.132.7

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Thailand Facts

ValueChangeDate
Bond Yield2.520.0 %Mar 20
Exchange Rate31.660.17 %Mar 20
Stock Market1,628-1.41 %Mar 20

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