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Ministry to revise economic growth estimate


February 29, 2008

Ministry to revise economic growth estimate

Thailand’s finance ministry will revise its economic growth estimate upward for this year, citing as its reason that the economy may expand up to 6 percent due to improved domestic demand and high exports.

Pannee Sathavarodom, director-general of the Fiscal Policy Office, was quoted by Thai News Agency as saying that the ministry will make an upward revision of its economic growth projection for this year again in March.

Now, it is in a process of considering which factors had changed from its assumptions made in November last year such as the value of the baht, the inflation rate, oil prices, and global economic growth.

Should any factors have changed from its earlier projection, the ministry would reconsider them in detail.

In addition, she said, it will include an economic stimulus package the government plans to announce in the coming one to two weeks in its consideration of the growth estimate revision.

Given the improved economic conditions and the issuance of economic stimulus measures, she believed the country's economy this year could expand up to 6 per cent as estimated earlier by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Surapong Suebwonglee.

She said the economy in January continued to expand, with more balance, driven by a clear recovery of private consumption and investment and substantial exports.

In addition, the state budget spending continued to increase, showing the important role of the public sector in boosting economic growth and maintaining economic stability despite higher inflation risks.

Private consumption had clearly recovered, as could be witnessed by an increase in the value-added tax collection to 12.4 percent in January from 4 percent the month before.

Private investment had also improved significantly as could be witnessed by a sharp increase in the import of capital goods to 61.2 per cent in January.

The exports still maintained a hefty growth of 33.3 per cent with a total value of $14 billion and imports expanded 49.1 percent with the value of $14.6 billion.

It resulted in a trade deficit in the first time in 17 months of $700 million in January.

Pannee said the country's international reserve as of the end of January continued to rise to $92.8 billion from $87.5 billion and the inflation rate expanded 4.3 percent per annum. (TNA)

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