InfoQuest (May 18, 2022) - According to Mr. Danucha Pichayanan,Secretary-General of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC), due to the slowdown in the global economic growth and inflation, NESDC lowered Thailand’s forecast for growth to 2.5 to 3.5 percent from 3.5 to 4.5 percent.
Due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict and other factors, the global economic growth this year fell to 3.5 percent from 4.5 percent and international crude oil prices rose to US$95-105/bbl.
Key constraints and risk factors for the economy this year include global economic slowdown and global financial market turmoil due to the continuous Russia-Ukraine conflict, higher energy prices and commodity prices lifted by the sanction of multiple EU countries and the United States against Russia, China’s Zero Covid strategy, interruption of global supply chain and impeded logistics; heavy debt burden on the private sector and incomplete recovery of the labor market; uncertainty in the pandemic due to mutant strains.
The Secretary-General pointed out that Thailand must take special measures based on the realities of households and enterprises and focus on extending their repayment period to ensure financial liquidity and normal business. As for the heavy debt burden arising from higher energy prices, Thailand has rolled out relevant measures and goes all out to help the people.
NESDC, the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Thailand will discuss the implementation of proper actions to stimulate the domestic economy.
Positive factors for economic growth this year include gradual recovery of tourism benefiting from quarantine exemption for entry, export expansion due to the opening of border check posts and relaxing of anti-pandemic measures in multiple countries.
Danucha said, “Exports and tourism remain the main drivers of Thailand's economy this year. Exports are expected to reach US $289.2 billion; tourism revenue is expected to reach 570 billion baht and the number of inbound foreign tourists is expected to be about 7 million.”
Thailand's exports are forecast to grow by 7.3 percent and imports by 10.9 percent this year, leaving a trade surplus of US$3.46 billion. The current account balance is -1.5 percent of GDP and inflation is 4.2-5.2 percent.
As for the economic management, the following points should be noted: maintain economic vitality; support the recovery of tourism and related service industry; maintain export momentum; encourage non-governmental investment; promote government investment and maintain the necessary scale of government spending; focus on agricultural production and farmers’ income; formulate measures to respond to global economic and financial turmoil.
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