Thailand: Exports continue to grow at vigorous pace in January
February 28, 2011
In January, exports rose 21.4% over the same month last year to USD 16.5 billion, according to data released by the Central Bank. The reading, was faster than the 18.6% expansion tallied in December. Meanwhile, imports posted a marked rebound over the previous month. After tumbling 8.8% in December, imports bounced back to a 31.2% expansion in January. As a result, the trade balance incurred a deficit of USD 588 million, which contrasted the surplus of USD 1.3 billion observed in December. Despite the strong January reading, the moving 3-month export sum dropped to USD 51.3 billion from USD 51.8 billion in December. That said, exports remain above the pre-crisis peak of USD 49.8 billion recorded the three months up to August 2008 and bounced back more than 50% from the USD 33.2 billion trough registered in the three months up to May 2009. Going forward, export growth is likely to weaken somewhat this year, amid slower demand growth from China, which represents the most important export destination for Thailand.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist