|24 November 2009
Thailand’s recovery picks up momentum in Q3
Thailand's economy shrank by 2.8 percent year-on-year in the third quarter, signalling improvement on the previous quarter as export and tourism revenues pick up, AFP reported, citing official figures Monday.
It was the fourth consecutive quarter in which gross domestic product (GDP) dropped, but was less severe than the 7.1 percent and 4.9 percent falls seen in the first and second quarters respectively.
"GDP was better because of good export and tourism figures and government policies to stimulate investments," said Ampon Kittiampon, secretary general of the National Economic and Social Development Board that released the data.
The government has this year rolled out a 116.7 billion baht ($3.35 billion) supplementary budget focused on improving consumer spending and in late October began parcelling out a second stimulus package worth 1.4 trillion baht.
Ampon said the board expected GDP to expand between 2.7 - 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter and said its growth forecast for 2009 is now minus 3.0 percent, having previously estimated that it could fall as low as minus 3.5 percent.
"If export and tourism figures continue to be in good shape and the political situation is not serious, overall GDP could show a contraction of 3.0 percent," he told reporters.
This year exports are predicted to fall 13.7 percent overall, with imports dropping 26.1 percent, leading to an estimated overall trade surplus of 21.8 billion dollars. Growth is forecast to expand by between 3.0 and 4.0 percent in 2010, with inflation between 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent.
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