Commerce: Economy to improve in H2

A meeting of economic ministers has agreed the economy will show improved growth in the third and fourth quarters of the year, Commerce Minister Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisal said on Wednesday.

The meeting had discussed the economic trend for the remaining months of the year after a slowdown in the second quarter blamed on the fragility of the global economy, he said.

The economy in the second half of the year would gradually improve on the back of a speeding up of the disbursement of the remaining 2013 budget of about 80 billion baht within the end of this month, he added.

Mr Niwatthamrong said the government will also propose its 2-trillion-baht borrowing bill to the House of Representatives for consideration by mid-September.

After this bill had passed through the parliament, the government would have funds for investing in its planned infrastructure development megaprojects, which would substantially spur the economy, he said.

The Ministry of Commerce will  invite  producers and exporters in the industrial and agricultural sectors  to meetings soon to discuss ways to stimulate stalling exports, the minister said.

The meeting would aim at boosting the  sector after exports grew by only 2.47% over the first eight months of the year, he added.

Mr Niwatthamrong said his ministry is monitoring the affect on the cost of living of the increase in Bangkok expressway tolls and of electricity charges and cooking gas prices throughout the country.

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