Thai growth quickens on local demand, reducing rate-cut pressure | Bangkok Post: business

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Growth quickens on local demand

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Thailand's economic growth accelerated in the fourth quarter on rising exports and local demand, reducing pressure on the central bank for further interest-rate cuts. 

Gross domestic product increased 18.9% in the three months through December from a year earlier, after expanding a revised 3.1% in the previous quarter, the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) said in Bangkok on Monday. The median of 14 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey was 15.3%. The economy grew 6.4% in 2012 from 0.1% in 2011, when a deluge swamped most of the country.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra last year raised minimum wages and unveiled incentives for car buyers and rice farmers to boost domestic demand and counter falling exports. The Bank of Thailand last month held borrowing costs for a second meeting and Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul said he was under no pressure to lower rates even after Finance Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong renewed calls for easing to cool the baht's gains.

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