Thai economy posts fastest growth in a year

The economy in Thailand expanded in the previous quarter at a rate said to be quicker than it has recorded the entire year. This increase is mostly due to a resurgence in the tourism sector, as well as a bump in consumption and private investment. Despite the current positive trends, the state planning agency has warned of global growth risks in the near future.

Known as the second-largest economy in Southeast Asia, Thailand’s economy grew 4.5% in the quarter ended in September compared to a year earlier, data from the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) reveals. That marks a steep growth when compared with the April-July period, with quarterly growth turning out better than anticipated. This has increased the likelihood of a rate hike before month end.

While the country’s Q3 growth was among the smallest in Southeast Asia, it still stands out as the quickest expansion since Q2 2021 and the state planning agency predicts that full-year 2022 growth will return to pre-pandemic levels. The agency expects the growth will be primarily driven by tourism, private and public investments, and domestic demand.

Government forecasts predicted that the economy would expand 3.2% this year, at the upper end of a previous forecast range of 2.7% to 3.2%, and predicted a rise to 3% to 4% in 2023.

The economy in Thailand has seen stable recovery since the authorities rolled back all measures put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic earlier this year. This gave room for a resurgence of the country’s tourism industry, which is essential to its economy. Yet, slowing global growth and high inflation makes it difficult to specify as to the effects on this on the general outlook of the future.

“Key risks include slower-than-expected global economic growth and volatility in global financial markets as major central banks continue to raise interest rates to reduce still high inflationary pressures,” Danucha Pichayanan, head of NESDC, told a news conference.

Thailand’s GDP was smaller than those of several of its peers in the region, including Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam.

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