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NEWS UPDATES 28 February 2010

Thailand: Political uncertainty remains key risk factor to economy

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The Thai economy is expected to continue growing supported by the global economic recovery, but political uncertainties remain a key risk factor and need to be closely monitored before a revision of the growth estimate will be made, according to the Bank of Thailand (BoT).

The central bank`s Domestic Economy Department senior director, Suchart Sakkankosone, said the Monetary Policy Committee, which is scheduled to revise Thailand's economic growth projection on April 29, will take into account the mounting political conflicts in making its decision to adjust the growth estimate.

He said that negative political factors had undermined confidence among Asian tourists more than European arrivals because the former are more sensitive to Thailand`s political news.

In the short term, the central bank will monitor political movements closely to see whether they will affect the economy and tourism.

Mr Suchart said the economy in January continued to expand, driven by a surge in exports by 31.4 per cent with a total value of US$13.63 billion and by improved consumption as evidenced by a rise in the consumer confidence index by 4.7 per cent and the private investment index for the eighth consecutive month by 5.2 per cent.

"The economic and political uncertainties as well as the investment project suspension in the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate and higher fuel prices will remain risk factors to investment in the future," he said.


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