Thailand: GDP growth slows sharply in Q1
May 20, 2013
In the first quarter, GDP expanded 5.3% over the same period last year, which was down from both the revised 19.1% rise recorded in Q4 2012 and market expectations of a 6.0% rise.
The deterioration was broad-based, but it mostly stemmed from a deceleration in domestic demand. Total consumption expanded 3.9% annually in Q1 (Q4: +12.4% year-on-year), as both private and government consumption (+4.3% yoy and +2.2% yoy respectively) recorded their lowest growth rate in a year. In addition, gross fixed investment slowed from a whopping 22.9% increase in the fourth quarter to a 6.0% expansion in the January-March period.
On the external side of the economy, exports of goods and services expanded 8.4% in Q1, down from the 19.6% rise recorded in Q4. Meanwhile, imports rose 8.2% in Q1, which marked a moderation over the 15.0% expansion observed in Q4. As a result, the net contribution from the external sector to overall economic growth fell from plus 5.0 percentage points in the fourth quarter to plus 1.4 percentage points in Q1.
On a quarter-on-quarter basis, GDP contracted 2.2% in seasonally adjusted terms in Q1, which contrasted the 2.8% expansion observed in the previous period and marked the first quarterly contraction since the last quarter of 2011. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecasts panellists expect the economy to expand 4.8% in 2013, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month's estimate. For 2014, the panel predicts economic growth to reach 5.0%.
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions