The Thai economy this year is expected to expand 4 percent on the back of the continued growth momentum in the export and tourism sectors as well as the acceleration of public investment.
Mr. Kobsidthi Silpachai, Head of Capital Markets Research at Kasikorn Bank, stated that global economic growth of 3.6 percent is projected this year, which would be conducive to the further growth of Thai exports. Given this and other positive factors, including lively tourism and the speedy disbursement of public funds into infrastructure projects and the Eastern Economic Corridor, investor confidence is expected to improve, allowing the Thai economy to grow 4 percent this year.
However, Mr. Kobsidthi pointed out that investors remain concerned by uncertainty in the country’s election roadmap. Other risk factors include the appreciation of the Thai currency, which is expected to trade between 32 and 33 baht against the US dollar in the first quarter, lower-than-expected inflation and an upswing in oil prices.
Similarly, Mr. Pisit Puapan, Director of the Macroeconomic Analysis Division, Fiscal Policy Office, considered the export and tourism industries to be the key drivers of the Thai economy this year, allowing overall growth to be comparable to that of last year. Nonetheless, he advised that close attention is paid to a possible slowdown in the Chinese economy as well as fluctuations in the yuan’s value.