Thailand Economic Forecast

Thailand Economic Outlook

July 21, 2020

The economy is set to enter recession in the second quarter, after GDP contracted for the first time in six years in the first quarter. Private consumption nosedived in April–May amid tumbling retail sales and deeply pessimistic consumer confidence, while imports shrank markedly in the same period, reflecting lower domestic demand. Manufacturing output continued to collapse in May, with motor vehicle production down 70% on the same month a year ago. Consequently, exports contracted at the fastest pace in over a decade as external demand receded due to the global pandemic. However, the panorama appears to be improving at the end of the second quarter and into the third as lockdown conditions continue to be lifted. June’s PMI indicated a softening in the manufacturing sector downturn; business and consumer confidence rose in the same month, above the lows set in April; and high frequency data indicated an uptick in activity in early July.

Thailand Economic Growth

This year the economy is projected to contract sharply as the pandemic suppresses household spending and heightened uncertainty hits fixed investment. Exports are expected to be hit hard from subdued external demand, while the prolonged nature of the viral outbreak amid stubbornly high global infection rates is a key risk to the outlook. Our panel projects the economy to contract 6.3% in 2020, which is down 0.4 percentage points from last month’s projection, before growing 4.6% in 2021.

Thailand Economy Data

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Population (million)67.267.567.767.867.9
GDP per capita (USD)5,9546,1326,7457,4548,021
GDP (USD bn)400414456505545
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)3.13.44.14.22.4
Consumption (annual variation in %)2.62.93.14.64.5
Investment (annual variation in %)4.42.91.83.82.1
Manufacturing (annual variation in %)0.01.41.83.7-3.6
Retail Sales (annual variation in %)0.01.06.310.83.1
Unemployment Rate0.70.81.00.91.0
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-2.3-2.6-3.0-2.4-1.8
Public Debt (% of GDP)43.741.041.141.841.2
Money (annual variation in %)5.74.89.42.85.7
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)-0.91.10.80.40.9
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)-0.90.20.71.10.7
Inflation (PPI, annual variation in %)-4.1-1.20.70.4-1.0
Policy Interest Rate (%)1.501.501.501.751.25
Stock Market (annual variation in %)24.1-17.721.215.8-10.1
Exchange Rate (vs USD)36.0435.7832.6432.4030.11
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)34.2135.2433.9032.2831.01
Current Account (% of GDP)6.910.59.65.67.0
Current Account Balance (USD bn)27.843.444.028.537.9
Trade Balance (USD billion)26.135.832.622.426.6
Exports (USD billion)213213234251243
Imports (USD billion)187178201229216
Exports (annual variation in %)-5.90.19.57.5-3.2
Imports (annual variation in %)-10.6-5.113.213.7-5.4
International Reserves (USD)157172203206224
External Debt (% of GDP)32.731.934.032.131.6

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Thailand Facts

Value Change Date
Exchange Rate30.110.17 %Dec 30

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