Thailand: Activity gathers momentum in Q1 amid a recovering tourism industry
GDP growth accelerated to 2.7% year on year in the first quarter, from 1.4% in the fourth quarter of last year.
Exports of goods and services rebounded, growing 3.0% in Q1 (Q4 2022: -0.7% yoy), supported by an ongoing recovery in the tourism sector. In addition, imports of goods and services fell at a slower pace of 1.0% in Q1 (Q4 2022: -4.8% yoy).
On the domestic front, private consumption growth fell to 5.4% in Q1, marking the weakest expansion since Q1 2022 (Q4 2022: +5.6% yoy) but remaining robust nonetheless. Government consumption contracted at a milder pace of 6.2% in Q1 (Q4 2022: -7.1% yoy). Meanwhile, fixed investment growth fell to 3.1% in Q1, marking the worst result since Q2 2022 (Q4 2022: +3.9% yoy). ç
On a seasonally adjusted quarter-on-quarter basis, GDP rebounded, growing 1.9% in Q1, contrasting the previous quarter’s 1.1% fall. Q1’s reading marked the best result since Q4 2021.
Commenting on the release, Sanjay Mathur and Krystal Tan, economists at ANZ, stated:
“In our view, the Q1 GDP data is encouraging on two counts: 1) the ability of economy to hold up even with a diminished fiscal impulse; and 2) improving tourism activity which is also feeding positively through household consumption. In fact, these two developments cumulatively point to sustained positive momentum in the Thai economy—a unique strength from a pan-Asian perspective.”