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Thailand Economic Forecast

Thailand Economic Outlook

February 25, 2020

The economy weakened, with GDP growing at the softest pace in over five years in the final quarter of last year on a contraction in domestic demand as government expenditure fell, likely owing to the delayed passage of the government’s budget. Furthermore, exports of goods and services fell notably in the quarter amid a stronger downturn in the manufacturing sector, while the agricultural sector contracted at the steepest rate in eight quarters. Turning to this year, economic data remains limited but the manufacturing sector’s PMI dipped back into contractionary territory, suggesting business conditions worsened from the prior month. In mid-February, however, Parliament finally voted in favor of the government’s 2020 budget. Coupled with recently announced tax breaks and soft loans, this should buttress domestic demand and alleviate the damage inflicted by the coronavirus.

Thailand Economic Growth

Economic growth is expected remain broadly stable on the back of fiscal stimulus, low interest rates and a recovery of the external sector. However, the balance of risks is skewed to the downside amid lingering external headwinds, with protracted Sino-American tensions, the novel coronavirus outbreak and a strong currency likely weighing on exports and tourism. Our panel projects the economy to expand 2.3% in 2020, which is down 0.5 percentage points from last month’s projection, and 3.3% in 2021.

Thailand Economy Data

2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Population (million)67.067.267.567.767.8
GDP per capita (USD)6,0885,9546,1336,7467,455
GDP (USD bn)408400414456505
Economic Growth (GDP, annual variation in %)1.03.13.44.14.2
Consumption (annual variation in %)0.82.62.93.14.6
Investment (annual variation in %)-2.24.42.91.83.8
Manufacturing (annual variation in %)-4.00.01.41.83.6
Retail Sales (annual variation in %)-5.8-0.11.06.310.8
Unemployment Rate0.60.70.81.00.9
Fiscal Balance (% of GDP)-2.9-2.6-3.5-3.5-2.5
Public Debt (% of GDP)42.543.740.641.241.8
Money (annual variation in %)1.35.74.89.42.8
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %, eop)0.6-0.91.10.80.4
Inflation Rate (CPI, annual variation in %)1.9-0.90.20.71.1
Inflation (PPI, annual variation in %)0.1-4.1-1.20.70.4
Policy Interest Rate (%)2.001.501.501.501.75
Stock Market (annual variation in %)-13.624.1-17.721.215.8
Exchange Rate (vs USD)32.9236.0435.7832.6432.40
Exchange Rate (vs USD, aop)32.4434.2135.2433.9032.28
Current Account (% of GDP)2.96.910.59.65.6
Current Account Balance (USD bn)11.627.843.444.028.5
Trade Balance (USD billion)17.526.135.832.622.4
Exports (USD billion)227213213234251
Imports (USD billion)209187178201229
Exports (annual variation in %)-0.2-5.90.19.57.5
Imports (annual variation in %)-7.9-10.6-5.113.213.7
International Reserves (USD)157157172203206
External Debt (% of GDP)34.732.731.934.032.1

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Thailand Facts

Value Change Date
Exchange Rate30.110.17 %Dec 30

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