TCC trims 2013 growth to 3.5-4%

The Thai Chamber of Commerce has lowered its gross domestic product growth projection for 2013 from between 5-6% to 3.5-4%, Kalin Sarasin, secretary general of the organisation said on Tuesday.

Mr Kalin said the revision was based on the slower than expected global economic recovery that has damaged the country's exports, as well as the continuing slowdown in domestic consumption.

Declining household spending has had a negative impact on the private sector, he said, adding that the sector is concerned about the slowdown in private investment, which contracted by 0.2% in the first half of the year.

Businesses are also concerned about delays to government investment plans, the contraction in exports, high household debt, which stands at 80% of GDP, and ongoing political turmoil.

Mr Kalin said border trade could help mobilise economic expansion in the second half of the year, so government should promote border trade and tourism.

He also suggested that the government could rapidly stimulate the economy by speeding up its budget spending and its planned 2-trillion-baht investment in infrastructure development megaprojects.

Piyawat Titasattavorakul, chairman of the Retail and Wholesale Business Committee and managing director of CP Seven Eleven Plc, said the slowdown in domestic purchasing power had derailed his organisation's growth target.

He said his panel had trimmed their retail and wholesale business expansion target for the year to 6-8%, from the previous projection of 10-12%, after business growth figures stood at only 8% in the first half of the year.

The slowdown in retail and wholesale business was caused by declining domestic purchasing power, the high cost of living, increasing production costs and personal debt burdens, Mr Piyawat said.

However, Mr Piyawat confirmed that the retail and wholesale business operators will keep product prices unchanged until the end of the year to comply with Commerce Ministry policy and help ease the cost of living burden on consumers.

Related search: Thai Chamber of Commerce, gross domestic product growth, projection 2013, Kalin Sarasin

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