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Thai GDP seen declining in H2, says minister


August 24,2008

Thai GDP seen declining in H2, says minister
Thailand's economic growth during the second half of 2008 is expected to fall to a 5.3 percent level while inflation is estimated at  7.5 percent, Thai News Agency quoted a senior finance ministry official as saying Saturday.

Pannee Sathavarodom, director-general of Fiscal Policy Office, said during a recently held  seminar that economic expansion in the first half of 2008 is projected to come in at 5.9 percent while inflation during the period - which soared to 6.3 percent -- remained a risk factor for Thai economy.

She said the expected decline of inflation during the second half of this year from an earlier projection was attributed to the government's six economic measures aimed at helping the poor, most of which were implemented beginning August 1 for six months, and a retreat in global oil prices.

Economic growth still remained high thanks to Thailand's exports to emerging markets and countries with high growth including China, India, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Africa and Thailand's neighbouring countries, said Mrs. Pannee.

Local consumption during the last six months of 2008 is expected to decline slightly as farmers would earn higher incomes due to the higher prices of agricultural products, she said.

Government-sponsored mega projects are expected to boost domestic investment, she added.

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