Thailand Economic Forecast

Thailand Economic Outlook

October 17, 2017

The economy remains caught between a strong external position, underpinned by a large current account surplus, and a fragile domestic economy. Export growth reached a multi-year high in August, indicating healthy demand for Thai goods. Despite solid import growth, private consumption remains sluggish as high household debt and weak jobs growth eat into consumers’ pockets. Manufacturing output, on the other hand, beat annual growth expectations in August, seemingly putting an end to its hitherto volatile growth trajectory. Moreover, the government unveiled a USD 45 billion investment plan, which will be largely funded through the private sector. Construction on the planned projects is set to start before next year’s elections, which Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha announced will be held in November 2018.

Thailand Economy Data

Population (million)68.068.368.768.869.0
GDP per capita (USD)5,8456,1755,9255,7885,907
GDP (USD bn)397422407398407
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)
Consumption (annual variation in %)
Investment (annual variation in %)10.7-1.0-
Manufacturing (annual variation in %)10.62.3-3.8-  -  
Retail Sales (annual variation in %)19.0-0.3-
Unemployment Rate0.
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-4.1-2.2-2.0-2.4-2.7
Public Debt (% of GDP)
Money (annual variation in %)
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)
Inflation (PPI, annual variation in %)  -  
Policy Interest Rate (%)2.752.252.001.501.50
Stock Market (annual variation in %)12.436.0-13.624.1-17.7
Exchange Rate (vs USD)30.5832.7632.9236.0435.78
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)31.0430.6832.4434.2135.24
Current Account (% of GDP)-0.4-
Current Account Balance (USD bn)-1.6-4.915.132.147.7
Trade Balance (USD billion)
Exports (USD billion)228228227214214
Imports (USD billion)227228210187178
Exports (annual variation in %)2.50.3-0.6-5.90.4
Imports (annual variation in %)8.40.3-8.1-11.0-4.8
International Reserves (USD)182167157157172
External Debt (% of GDP)32.933.734.833.032.2

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Thailand Facts

Bond Yield2.291.33 %Oct 18
Exchange Rate33.050.0 %Oct 18
Stock Market1,708-0.98 %Oct 18

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Thailand Economic Growth

October 17, 2017

The robust external sector and sizable public investment should propel the economy next year and in 2019, although private consumption is expected to remain lackluster. A downside risk is the political uncertainty surrounding the election season and the new government. Additionally, high household debt clouds the mid-term outlook. Sound government finances and a strong external position should, however, provide buffers in the event of a shock. FocusEconomics panelists expect the economy to grow 3.5% in 2018, unchanged from last month’s forecast. The panel project 3.4% growth in 2019.

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