Thailand: Trade deficit hits record high in January
February 26, 2013
In January, the trade balance recorded a USD 5.5 billion deficit, which was larger than the USD 1.1 billion shortfall registered in the same month last year and marked the largest deficit on record. As a result, the trade balance posted a USD 22.4 billion shortfall in the 12-months up to January, larger than the USD 18.1 billion deficit recorded in the previous month.
Exports increased 16.1% annually in January, which came in above the 13.5% expansion observed in December and market expectations of a 13.4% increase. On the back of stronger-than-expected export growth, the 12-month sum of exports rose 5.5%, up from the 3.9% increase recorded in December.
Meanwhile, imports growth soared to a 40.9% expansion in January, which was almost 10 times higher than the 4.7% increase recorded in December and marked the strongest increase since September 2011. Consequently, the 12-month sum of imports rose 12.5%, up from the 8.8% increase recorded in December.
The Ministry of Commerce expects overall exports to grow between 8% and 9% this year.
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions