Thailand Economic Forecast

Thailand Economic Outlook

May 21, 2019

In general elections held on 24 March, the military-backed Palang Pracharat (PP) party fell short of securing a majority in the Lower House. Although the party is still expected to form a coalition with smaller parties—therefore, the incumbent prime minister should remain in office—, political instability will remain elevated. Meanwhile, the Thai economy should have cooled in the first quarter of this year on softening domestic demand: Average private consumption growth eased to an over one-year low, despite a slight uptick in consumer sentiment and still-muted inflation; private investment contracted for the first time in two years; and manufacturing output dropped for the first time in three years. Moreover, while monthly trade data showed that the trade balance swung back into black for the first time since Q2 2018, this was only owing to a stronger drop in imports compared to exports.

Thailand Economic Growth

Economic growth should moderate this year even though increased government expenditure related to infrastructure projects will likely provide some stimulus. Downside risks mainly stem from lingering trade tensions between the U.S. and China affecting exports, while high household indebtedness is likely to drag on private consumption, which is seen moderating this year. Our panel expects the economy to expand 3.6% in 2019, which is unchanged from last month’s forecast, and 3.5% 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 Yield2.160.0 %Jun 13
Exchange Rate31.190.17 %Jun 13
Stock Market1,674-1.41 %Jun 13

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Thailand Economic News

  • Thailand: Inflation inches down in May

    June 4, 2019

    Consumer prices increased 0.48% month-on-month in May, up from the prior month’s 0.44% rise, reflective on noticeable price increases for food and non-alcoholic beverages, while transportation and communication costs also rose albeit at a softer pace than in the prior month.

    Read more

  • Thailand: Manufacturing output rebounds in April

    May 28, 2019

    Manufacturing production rose 2.0% year-on-year in April, swinging from a revised 2.7% contraction in March (previously reported: -2.5% year-on-year).

    Read more

  • Thailand: Exports fall again in April

    May 23, 2019

    Thailand recorded a trade deficit of USD 1.5 billion in April, swinging from a USD 2.0 billion surplus in March; the 12-month moving sum of the trade balance narrowed from a USD 3.0 billion surplus in March to a USD 2.6 billion surplus.

    Read more

  • Thailand: Economic growth moderates to near five-year low in Q1

    May 21, 2019

    Economic growth decelerated to 2.8% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2019, down from the 3.6% annual expansion logged in Q4 last year and the lowest reading in nearly half a decade.

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  • Thailand: Inflation stable in April at lower end of Central Bank’s target range

    May 16, 2019

    Consumer prices rose 0.44% in April over the previous month (March: 0.41% month-on-month) due to stronger price increases for food and non-alcoholic beverages, and apparel and footwear. Inflation was stable at March’s 1.2% in April, remaining within the Central Bank’s 1.0%–4.0% target range for the second time after several months of undershooting.

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