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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  22 June 2015  

Thailand cuts 2015 growth forecast

THAILAND’S central bank cut its 2015 growth forecast and said exports and consumer prices will fall this year, showing the country still faces big obstacles to getting back on a solid growth track.

The Bank of Thailand (BOT) lowered its growth projection to 3.0 per cent from 3.8 per cent seen three months ago. A year ago, after the military seized power, the central bank had forecast 5.5 per cent growth for 2015.

Significantly, the BOT now says that exports - a pivotal, traditional growth engine that fell in 2013 and 2014 - will contract 1.5 per cent this year instead of rising 0.8 per cent. A year ago, the BOT predicted a 6 per cent increase for exports in 2015.

And while it contended the “probability of deflation” is low and that prices will rise in the fourth quarter, the central bank said it expects consumer prices to decline 0.5 per cent this year rather than increase 0.2 per cent.

So by economists’ definition, Thailand will have deflation this year. BOT Assistant Governor Mathee Supapongse said prices are expected to bottom in the current quarter, and later rise as the effects on the base from low oil prices fade.

The central bank, which announces economic forecasts every three months, said there are “downside risks” to growth but the economy should improve “gradually” in the second half, thanks to anticipated higher state spending and more tourists.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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