World Bank raises Thailand 2018 growth forecast

World Bank raises Thailand 2018 growth forecast

The World Bank raises Thailand's growth forecast this year due to economic recovery and rising exports. (Bangkok Post photo)
The World Bank raises Thailand's growth forecast this year due to economic recovery and rising exports. (Bangkok Post photo)

Thailand's economy is expected to grow 4.1% this year, up from 3.6% predicted last August, as the recovery is broadening, the World Bank said on Monday.

While rapid export growth continues to fuelling the economy, an increase in capacity utilisation and acceleration in capital goods imports suggest a nascent domestic demand recovery, the World Bank said in a statement.

"With economic growth exceeding 4% this year, for the first time since 2012, Thailand has the potential, with intensifying structural reforms, to raise productivity and grow even faster over the medium term," Ulrich Zachau, World Bank director for Thailand, Malaysia and Regional Partnerships, said in the statement.

Thailand's exports are expected to rise 6% this year, but a trade war is a risk, World Bank economist Kiatipong Ariyapruchya told a briefing.

But a trade dispute between the United States and China has yet to have a big impact on Thai shipments, which should be underpinned by demand from other markets, while signs of domestic demand recovery will also help, he said.

Economic growth in January-March is expected to have performed better than the previous quarter, he said.

Last month, the Bank of Thailand raised its 2018 economic growth forecast to 4.1% from 3.9% and projected a 7% gain in exports, instead of 4%.

Last year, the economy expanded 3.9%, the fastest pace in five years, while exports rose nearly 10%.


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