Thailand’s trade-reliant economy has been hit by slumping exports, a surging currency and cooling tourist arrivals, with a looming delay in the budget after a new government took office last month posing a further risk. FMTNews
Thailand’s trade-reliant economy has been hit by slumping exports, a surging currency and cooling tourist arrivals, with a looming delay in the budget after a new government took office last month posing a further risk.The central bank unexpectedly cut its benchmark interest rate earlier this month for the first time in more than four years, and said it sees more room to ease ahead. Downside risks The economic council cut its full-year growth forecast to 2.7%-3.2% – down from an earlier estimate of 3.3%-3.8% – as the second-quarter pace should be the slowest this year, the council’s deputy secretary-general, Wichayayuth Boonchit, told reporters. The forecast for exports was cut to a 1.2% contraction, from previous estimates of 2.2% growth. The sustained decline in export gains has spilled over to domestic demand, Nomura Singapore Ltd economists Euben Paracuelles and Charnon Boonnuch wrote in a research note Monday. They maintained their expectation for full-year GDP growth of 3.0%, but added that “the balance of risks to our forecast remains tilted to the downside.” Gareth Leather, senior Asia economist at Capital Economics, said the expansion could slow to 2.5% this year. “With weak global demand and a downturn in the tourism sector likely to drag on growth prospects over the coming quarters, we expect the economy to remain weak,” he wrote in a research note. Stimulus package GDP rose a seasonally adjusted 0.6% in the second quarter compared with the previous three months, the council said, below the 0.7% median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. In addition to the trade war, exports have been hit by gains of nearly 8% in the baht over the last 12 months, making it Asia’s best performing currency tracked by Bloomberg. The central bank has taken a series of measures to curb short-term inflows and intervened in the currency market to curb the baht’s strength, leading to a record-high level of foreign exchange reserves. The cabinet is scheduled to meet Tuesday to discuss the government’s 316 billion baht (US$10.2 billion) stimulus proposal announced last week. Thosaporn said Monday that additional stimulus is also possible, including steps that focus on boosting private investment and tourism. The government also will likely boost investment through public spending and disbursements by state enterprises, he said. Thailand also could benefit from investment from companies looking to relocate away from China amid the trade war, he said. Subscribe to our newsletter and get news delivered to your mailbox. Read more: Free Malaysia Today
Muslim insurgent group says it met with Thai gov'tBarisan Revolusi Nasional officials say they demanded release of detainees and transparent probe into state abuses.
Thai Airways unveils royal barge livery on aircraft
Hong Kong protests benefit Thai luxury developersBuyers from mainland China and Hong Kong are top property investors in Thailand's ultra-luxury condominiums which includes a 52-story Bangkok tower. FMTNews
Thai official dismisses Muslim insurgent demand on detaineesDPM Prawit Wongsuwan rejects freeing of detainees as a precondition to peace talks.
Insurgent group holds meeting with Thai govtBANGKOK: The main group fighting an insurgency in Thailand’s largely Muslim south said it had held its first meeting with officials from the new Thai government and had set out demands as a condition for any formal peace talks.
Thai official dismisses Muslim insurgent demand on detaineesThe Thai government rejects a demand by Barisan Revolusi Nasional to release its detainees stating adherence to the judicial procedure is required. FMTNews