Steady economic growth, but slower exports forecast

Steady economic growth, but slower exports forecast

Cargo containers are loaded onto a ship at Laem Chabang port in Chon Buri province. The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking expects export growth to slow down this year. (File photo)
Cargo containers are loaded onto a ship at Laem Chabang port in Chon Buri province. The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking expects export growth to slow down this year. (File photo)

The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking expects economic growth of 4.0-4.3% this year on private sector consumption and investment, but believes export growth will slow down.

The committee on Wednesday said the economy grew about 4.1% last year, slowed by a fall in exports and government investment in the last quarter of 2018.

Private consumption and investment increased steadily and should drive economic growth of 4.0-4.3% this year, it said.

However, export growth would slow down from 6.7% last year to an expected 5-7% this year, due to global economic trends and the US-China trade war.

The committee expressed its concern that the baht's appreciation might continue in the first half of this year and affect exports. This year,  as of Feb 1 the baht was 3.4% stronger, the second highest appreciation in the region, behind only the Indonesian currency, which was 3.7% stronger.

The committee attributed the strong baht to a weak US dollar on market expectations the US Fed will delay further interest rate increases.

The joint committee forecast the number of foreign arrivals will grow at close to the 7.5% rate of last year. It expected Chinese arrivals to rise, spurred by the many promotional campaigns.


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