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NEWS UPDATES 16 June 2010

Thai GDP to grow 4.3 percent

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A total of 86.6 percent of Thai economists recently surveyed agreed the economic growth rate for 2010 would be about 4.3 percent, despite the impact of recent political unrest and a financial crisis in Europe, the Research Centre at Bangkok University told the Bangkok Post on Wednesday.

The poll, on “Revision of Economic Figures after Ending of the Red-shirts Rally”, was conducted from June 8 to 14. A total of 67 economists at 25 leading state and private economic analysis agencies and educational institutions were approached for their opinion.

Most respondents said exports would be a key factor in boosting the economy this year, the poll said.

On the question about the public debt crisis in Greece and other European countries, they were evenly split - 44.8 percent said the problem would not spread out and significantly affect the global economy; the same percentage disagreed, saying that it would lead to another round of global economic crises.

Asked about the central bank’s policy rate, 50.7 percent of the economists said the repurchase rate should be kept unchanged at 1.25 per cent until the end of this year, to further boost the economy and encourage more investments. They current policy rate was at an appropriate level.

A total of 34.30 percent of them said the key rate should be raised within this year as it was clear that the economy has rebounded, there were signs of higher inflation rate and using low interest policy for too long was not a good practice as it should be adjusted to a suitable level.

Only one respondent said the policy rate should be cut, and seven gave no comment.

Asked about the top three negative factors that could derail the recovering economy in the second half of the year, 71.6% pointed to government stability, 55.2 percent said another round of anti-govenment protests and 53.7 percent said foreign investor confidence.

Asked about what the government should do maintain economic recovery in the second half under the “Three Creations” concept, the economist said: economic creation: The government must speed up government spending, particularly the investment budgets for projects under the Thai Khem Kaeng (Strong Thailand) stimulus scheme; confidence creation: The state must create confidence among Thai and foreign investors and tourists by coming up with concrete measures and ensuring that incidents like the recent political violence and the environmental impasse in Rayong’s Map Ta Phut industrial estate to not happen again and reconciliation creation: The government must move ahead with the national reconciliation road map, listing it as a national agenda and provide assistance for the people affected by the political unrest.


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