Thailand: Trade deficit narrows in May
June 25, 2013
In May, the trade balance recorded a USD 2.3 billion deficit, which was smaller than the USD 4.1 billion shortfall recorded in April, but exceeded the deficit recorded in the same month last year. That said, the 12-month sum of the trade balance rose to USD 22.2 billion deficit, up from the USD 21.6 billion shortfall recorded in the previous month.
Exports contracted 5.2% annually in May, which contrasted the 2.9% increase observed in April and exceeded market expectations of a 4.2% contraction. However, the 12-month sum of exports rose 4.6%, down from the 5.9% increase recorded in April.
Meanwhile, imports dropped 2.1% in May, which contrasted the 8.9% increase recorded in April. Consequently, the 12-month sum of imports expanded 7.4%, edging down from the 9.1% increase recorded in April.
The Ministry of Commerce recently cut its projections for export growth this year and currently expects exports to expand between 7.0% and 7.5% this year, down from an earlier 8.0%-9.0% range. FocusEconomics Consensus Forecast panellists expect exports to increase 5.8% in 2013 to USD 243 billion. For 2014, panellists expect export growth to accelerate to 10.2%, which will push overseas sales to USD 268 billion.