Thailand: Exports contract for third consecutive month
September 28, 2012
In August, exports declined 7.0% over the same month last year to USD 19.8 billion, which marked the third consecutive monthly drop. The reading, which represents the sharpest contraction observed since November 2011, came in below the 4.5% decline recorded in July and exceeded market expectations of a softer 5.5% drop. A sharp decline in shipments of manufacturing goods, particularly of electronics was the main driver behind the fall. Imports followed suit and declined 8.8% in August (USD 20.8 billion), which contrasted the 13.7% expansion observed in July. As a result, the trade deficit reached USD 1.0 billion in August, which marked an improvement over the USD 1.6 billion shortfall observed in the same month last year. The Ministry of Commerce recently revised down its forecast and now expects exports to grow 9% (previously reported: 15%), while the National Economic and Social Development Board cut its projections for this year and now expects exports to grow 7.3%, below its previous 15.1% estimate.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist