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25 August 2009

Thai economy returns to growth in 2Q 

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Thailand's economy emerged from recession in the second quarter as manufacturing grew and the government boosted spending, the Associated Press reported.

The state planning agency said Monday that gross domestic product expanded 2.3 percent from the first quarter in seasonally adjusted terms.

The economy, Southeast Asia's second largest, sank into recession in the first three months of the year after contracting quarter-on-quarter for two straight quarters.

Manufacturing resumed growing on a quarterly basis - expanding 6.2 percent - following two quarters of steep contraction when the downturn in world trade flattened demand for cars, electronics and electrical goods made in Thailand.

Private spending rose from the first quarter as the government rolled out an economic stimulus plan including cash handouts to low income workers. Agricultural production fell and activity in the services sector was flat.

Hard hit by the global slump and political instability, GDP was still smaller than a year earlier, falling 4.9 percent. But that was an improvement from the first quarter when it dived 7.1 percent.

The National Economic and Social Development Board expects the economy to shrink between 3 percent and 3.5 percent in 2009 compared with 2008.


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