Thailand: Trade balance swings back into black in December
January 21, 2019
Thailand’s external sector logged a trade surplus of USD 1.1 billion in December, contrasting the USD 1.2 billion shortfall in November and markedly above the USD 220 million deficit of December 2017. The 12-month moving sum of the trade balance doubled from USD 1.2 billion in November to USD 2.4 billion in December.
Exports contracted 1.7% year-on-year in December, which was larger than November’s 0.9% drop. The result came on the tails of stronger falls in shipments of automatic data processing machines and parts, rubber and, electronic integrated circuits. Rice exports also dropped but at a softer rate than in the prior month. Imports contracted a sharp 8.1% in December, swinging from the strong 14.7% increase seen in November.
Thailand Trade Balance Forecast
FocusEconomics panelists expect exports to expand 3.9% in 2019. The panel sees imports increasing 6.4% in 2019, which would bring the trade surplus to USD 16.5 billion. In 2020, exports and imports are expected to increase 4.0% and 5.1% respectively, with a trade surplus of USD 14.4 billion.
Author: Jan Lammersen, Economist