Thailand: Exports expand for the first time since floods struck in October
March 30, 2012
In February, exports expanded 0.9% over the same month last year to reach USD 19.0 billion. The reading contrasted the 6.0% contraction registered in January and marked, in fact, the first positive growth rate in three months. In addition, the figure contrasted market expectations that had exports declining 5.0%. The February improvement reflected an expansion in overseas sales of manufacturing products, particularly the shipments of cars. Exports of electronic products continued to decline in February, albeit at a more modest pace. Meanwhile, imports grew 8.3% in February, which contrasted the 4.2% decline recorded in January, suggesting that the recovery in manufacturing remains on track. As a result, the trade balance incurred a surplus of USD 530 million in February, which contrasted the USD 1.1 billion deficit recorded in January. The Ministry of Commerce expects exports to continue to recover in the months ahead and grow 15% this year. Meanwhile, the Central Bank expects export growth to moderate to 4.0% this year.
Author: Ricardo Aceves, Senior Economist