Thailand: Trade deficit widens in April amid rebound in imports
May 23, 2013
In April, the trade balance recorded a USD 2.9 billion deficit, which was larger than the USD 870 million deficit recorded in March and mirrored the shortfall registered in the same month last year. As a result, the 12-month sum of the trade balance remained stable at the USD 20.8 billion deficit recorded in the previous month.
Exports increased 10.5% annually in April, which was up both from the 4.5% increase observed in March and market expectations of a 5.6% rise. On the back of stronger-than-expected export growth, the 12-month sum of exports rose 6.5%, up from the 5.4% increase recorded in March.
Meanwhile, imports rose 8.9% in April, which contrasted the 11.5% drop recorded in March. Consequently, the 12-month sum of imports expanded 9.3%, inching up from the 9.2% increase recorded in March.
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 7.8% in 2013 to USD 247 billion. For 2014, panellists expect export growth to accelerate to 9.1%, which will push overseas sales to USD 270 billion.
Author: Armando Ciccarelli, Head of Data Solutions