Top business groups see GDP growth of 2.5%-3% this year

Top business groups see GDP growth of 2.5%-3% this year

The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking projects an economic growth of 2.5%-3.0% this year. (Bangkok Post photo)
The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking projects an economic growth of 2.5%-3.0% this year. (Bangkok Post photo)

Leading business associations on Wednesday projected economic growth of 2.5%-3.0% this year in the face of a global slowdown and volatile exchange rates amid heightened Iran-US tensions.

Exports, a key driver of growth in Thailand, may not post an increase or could even contract as much as 2% this year, according to a joint statement of the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking.

The committee comprises the Federation of Thai Industries, Thai Bankers' Association, Thai Chamber of Commerce and Board of Trade of Thailand.

"In 2020, the economy still faces several negative factors, such as a global slowdown, with tensions in the Middle East and severe drought adding to the pressure," Kalin Sarasin, president of the joint business group, told reporters.

The group is asking the government to speed up spending and prepare measures to tackle drought and to ensure moves in the baht will not affect trade competitiveness, Mr Kalin said.

For 2019, the group predicted gross domestic product (GDP) to grow 2.5%, which would be the weakest in five years, rather than expand 2.7%-3.0% seen earlier.

Thailand's official GDP data for 2019 is due on Feb 17.


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