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||30 October 2009
Thai central bank revises up growth estimate
The Bank of Thailand (BoT) raised its economic growth estimate for this year and next year as it believed the country’s economy had already bottomed out and is likely to turn around to grow on a continuing basis, reported state news agency TNA.
BoT’s Assistant Governor Paiboon Kittisrikangwan on Thursday said the bank projected Thailand’s gross domestic product (GDP) would shrink only 2.5-3.5 percent instead of contracting at the 3-4.5 per cent level forecast earlier.
The Thai economy has been buoyed up by the clear recovery of the global economy, particularly the economy in Asia. The economy had been also driven by increased exports and the injection of money through the government’s Thai Khem Keng (Strong Thailand) Scheme.
However, there remain some risk factors to the economy including global economic volatility, slower-than-targeted budget disbursement, worsening political conflicts, and the court order suspending operations of investment projects in the Mab Ta Put Industrial Estate.
He said the court’s injunction against the Mab Ta Put projects had undermined the investment atmosphere and could affect GDP growth next year.
As economic conditions are showing improvement, the bank revised its GDP growth projection for 2010 upward to 3.3-5.3 percent from the 3-5 percent projected previously.
Should the problem at Mab Ta Put drag on, GDP is likely to grow only 3.3 percent. Nonetheless, he said that exports are expected to contract 12.5-15.5 percent this year, but to grow 9-12 percent next year, while imports are forecast to shrink 23-26 percent this year, but to increase 16.5-19.5 per cent in the year ahead.
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