Thailand: GDP growth records best result since Q2 2021 in Q3
November 22, 2022
GDP growth sped up to 4.5% year on year in the third quarter, from 2.5% in the second quarter. Q3’s reading marked the best result since Q2 2021 and beat market expectations.
The upturn reflected improvements in private consumption, fixed investment and exports amid rising tourist numbers. Household spending growth increased to 9.0% year on year in the third quarter, which marked the best reading since Q4 2012 (Q2: +7.1% yoy). A notable acceleration in spending on durable goods spearheaded the increase, underpinned by an expansion in the purchase of vehicles. Meanwhile, fixed investment bounced back, growing 5.2% in Q3, contrasting the 1.0% contraction in the prior quarter, supported by increased investment in machinery and equipment and a rebound in construction investment. Government spending, meanwhile, deteriorated, contracting 0.6% in Q3 (Q2: +2.8% yoy).
On the external front, exports of goods and services grew 9.5% in Q3 (Q2: +8.5% yoy), driven by higher tourism revenue. Conversely, imports of goods and services growth waned to 8.2% in Q3 (Q2: +9.5% yoy).
On a seasonally-adjusted quarter-on-quarter basis, economic growth accelerated to 1.2% in Q3, compared to the previous quarter’s 0.7% expansion. Q3’s reading marked the best result since Q4 2021.
Commenting on the economic outlook, Enrico Tanuwidjaja, economist at UOB, stated:
“We keep our forecast for the Thai economy to grow by 3.2% for 2022, double the growth rate seen in 2021. For next year, we continue to remain sanguine and expect the Thai economy to grow circa 3.7% on expectations of higher and steadier tourism income that will continue to boost domestic trade activities coupled with stronger exports performance.”