ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Thai central bank lifts growth forecast
The Finance Ministry has forecast 7.3 percent growth in GDP this year after accounting for those issues.
An assistant governor for the Monetary Policy Group said local exporters had been able to cope with the baht's gains by taking steps to protect against loss. The hedging ratio increased to 43 percent of total income in September from 35 percent in August.
He said local business operators had also increasingly shifted settlement currency to other currencies as the dollar weakened. They also shortened the maturity of orders to three months or shorter from the typical six months.
The central bank's nominal effective exchange rate calculated by the Bank for International Settlements showed the baht had strengthened 6.5 percent for the year to date against the dollar when weighed against trade partners.
The index for the Indonesia rupiah appreciated 4.1 percent and the Philippine peso 3.8 percent during the same period.
Moody's Investors Service yesterday also expressed confidence in the prospects for the Thai economy, changing its outlook on Thailand's Baa1 local and foreign currency government bond ratings to stable from negative.
"The change in the rating outlook back to stable reflects our view that the recent improvements in economic fundamentals adequately compensate for the political uncertainties going forward," said Christian de Guzman, assistant vice-president and lead sovereign analyst for the country.
The central bank, meanwhile, said it expected private investment would pick up in 2011 in light of pent-up demand following the lull during political unrest, and high capacity utilisation. Fiscal Policy Office director Boonchai Charassangsomboon said GDP may grow 7.4 percent in the third quarter and fall to 2.3 percent in the fourth because of high base effects. The FPO projects growth next year at 4.5 percent.
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