Thailand Economic Forecast

Thailand Economic Outlook

March 20, 2018

Last year’s economic momentum seems to have carried over into the new year with merchandise exports and tourism growing solidly in January. This suggests that the strong performance in the external sector continued after having picked up slack from subdued domestic demand last year. Private consumption started 2018 on a strong note with an across-the-board expansion in annual terms although household spending remained fragile. The manufacturing sector was supported in January by private consumption and the external sector, and saw a strong rise in new orders.

Thailand Economic Growth

Economic growth should remain robust this year on the back of a pickup in government consumption and fixed investment, while private consumption growth is expected to remain solid and export growth will likely moderate due to a large base effect. Although the high level of household debt remains a concern, the chief downside risks to the economy are tense geopolitical situation and U.S. trade policies, which could spark a global trade war. Additionally, Thailand could face greater scrutiny since it met the United States’ criteria as a currency manipulator. Domestic political turmoil in the build up to this year’s elections could also dent investor confidence. FocusEconomics panelists expect the economy to grow 3.9% in 2018, up 0.1 percentage points from last month’s forecast. The panel projects growth of 3.7% in 2019.

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 Yield2.440.0 %Mar 22
Exchange Rate31.140.17 %Mar 22
Stock Market1,799-1.41 %Mar 22

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