Thailand: GDP expands at record pace in Q4
February 18, 2013
In the fourth quarter, GDP soared a stunning 18.9% over the same period last year, which was up from the revised 3.1% rise recorded in Q3 (previously reported: +3.0% year-on-year). The reading marked the strongest increase on record and beat market expectations of 15.4% growth. That said, the fourth quarter result greatly benefited from a favourable base of comparison, as GDP had plummeted 8.9% in Q4 2011 amid the devastating floods that affected the country at the end of 2011. In the full year 2012, the economy expanded 6.7%, up from the 0.1% increase recorded in 2011.
Total consumption expanded a strong 12.2% annually in Q4 (Q3: +6.8% yoy), buttressed by healthy growth in both private and government consumption, which increased 12.2% and 12.1% respectively. In addition, gross fixed investment accelerated from a 15.5% increase in the third quarter to a 23.5% expansion in the October-December period.
On the external side of the economy, exports of goods and services rebounded into positive territory and expanded 19.0% in Q4, contrasting the 2.8% drop recorded in Q3. Meanwhile, imports rose 14.7% in Q4 contrasting the 1.8% drop observed in Q3. As a result, the net contribution from the external sector to overall economic growth improved significantly from minus 1.1 percentage points in the third quarter to plus 4.7 percentage points in Q4.
On a quarter-on-quarter basis, GDP grew 3.6% in seasonally adjusted terms in the fourth quarter, which was well above the revised 1.5% expansion observed in the previous period (previously reported: +1.2% qoq).
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions