Strong growth in consumer spending has been the main engine for Thailand's economy in 2012. Consumer spending in the third quarter of this year increased by over 6% relative to the same period last year. That was the fastest consumption growth rate since 2004 (excluding 2010 when the economy had just recovered from the global financial meltdown).
Consumer spending will continue to drive the economy next year, thanks to tax rebates from the first-time car buyer programme along with the minimum wage hike. KOSOL NAKACHOL
This is generally seen as good news, considering that we need domestic growth to absorb shrinking exports to the ailing Western economies. But a very important question that emerges is whether such fast-paced growth is sustainable.
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