S&P keeps BBB+ Thai credit rating

S&P keeps BBB+ Thai credit rating

The Finance Ministry is confident the Thai economy will steadily recover after Standard & Poor (S&P) Global Ratings kept the kingdom's sovereign credit rating at BBB+.

Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said S&P not only maintained Thailand's sovereign credit rating but also rated its economy as having a Stable Outlook.

The move is credited to Thailand's strong finance and foreign currency parameters.

Mr Arkhom said the country's debt status is not worrying, adding the political strife has not significantly affected economic growth and the government's policy implementation initiatives.

"It has been estimated the economy will recover over the next one to two years," the minister said.

He added the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) on Monday reported that national GDP contracted by 6.4% in the third quarter, an improvement when compared with second quarter's 12.1% contraction, the biggest decline since the Asian Financial Crisis of the late 1990s.

He said the third-quarter improvement is a signal that the economy is recovering.

The NESDC upgraded its full-year economic forecast to a 6% contraction on Monday from a 7.5% fall earlier.

The minister said the public debt level stood at 49.4% of GDP as of the end of September, noting it is still in line with the rules on financial discipline.

In the next quarter, the ministry will promote private sector investment and help its members maintain the domestic employment rate, he said, adding the ministry will expedite government payments and spending to inject money to help the economy recover.

The NESDC is forecasting the economy to expand by 3.5-4.5% in 2021 due to increased domestic demand, the global economic recovery and stronger global trade.

It said that fiscal budget disbursement contributed to the positive economic outlook.

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