Thai economy likely grew in Q3 on exports, tourism boost

BENGALURU : A turnaround in exports and a further resurgence in tourism likely helped Thailand’s economy grow at its fastest year-on-year pace in a year in the July-September quarter, a Reuters poll of economists found.

Thailand’s economy grew 2.4 per cent in the third quarter, according to the median forecast of 16 economists in the Nov. 10-16 poll, up from 1.8 per cent in the previous quarter.

On a quarterly basis, gross domestic product (GDP) likely grew a seasonally-adjusted 1.2 per cent from 0.2 per cent in the second quarter, a smaller sample of forecasts showed.

After a year of contraction, exports in Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy rose 1 per cent in September, coinciding with a potential economic recovery in China, a major trading partner.

Tourism, which was off to a slow start this year has recuperated in recent months, boosting domestic consumption and the service sector.

“In Q3, export growth rebounded sharply mainly due to a strong performance in agriculture, automotive, and petroleum products. Looking forward, we are optimistic about the Thai economy,” said Eugene Tan, economist at Moody’s Analytics.

“Tourism is expected to pick up in the coming quarters, coinciding with year-end holidays. A pickup in tourism will increase wages and retail trade, helping to lift growth.”

A separate Reuters poll showed Thailand’s growth was expected to average 3.0 per cent and 3.6 per cent this year and next, respectively, compared to Bank of Thailand estimates of 2.8 per cent and 4.4 per cent.

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