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January 24, 2009

Thai central bank sees 2% growth in 2009

Thailand's central bank said Friday the kingdom's economy would likely grow by between zero and two percent in 2009, in line with government predictions, reported AFP.

But it said growth would improve in 2010, rising to between two and three percent following an expected recovery in the global economy. "GDP this year will grow only between zero to two percent... The global economic slowdown will affect Thai trading partners, which is going to affect Thailand's economy," an official statement from the Bank of Thailand said.

"Thai GDP growth will start rising in 2010 following an expected recovery in the global economy," it said. The Bank of Thailand projections follow those made by Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij last month.

Korn said figures from his ministry's Fiscal Policy Office showed the economy growing between zero and two percent this year. Thailand's premier Abhisit Vejjajiva has warned that the current economic crisis would be more difficult to handle than the 1997 Asian financial crisis after months of political turmoil compounding the kingdom's economic woes.

On Tuesday Thailand's new cabinet approved a package of tax cuts worth 10 billion baht (286 million dollars) following a 115-billion-baht economic stimulus package to counter the economic slowdown.

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