Q1 GDP growth tops forecast but Ukraine war hits 2022 outlook
published : 17 May 2022 at 10:14
Thailand's economy grew faster than expected in the first quarter supported by a pickup in agriculture and an easing of Covid-19 curbs, but higher inflation remained a drag on a fragile recovery.
The government cut its 2022 economic growth forecast to 2.5-3.5% from 3.5-4.5%, due to higher prices and slower global growth linked to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Last year's expansion was revised to 1.5% from 1.6%, among the slowest growth rates in the region.
The economy, Southeast Asia's second largest, expanded a seasonally adjusted 1.1% in the March quarter from the previous three months, data from the National Economic and Social Development Council showed, versus a forecast 0.9% increase in a Reuters poll.
On a yearly basis, gross domestic product (GDP) grew 2.2% in January-March, beating a forecast 2.1% rise, and after revised 1.8% growth in the previous three months.
The economy this year will be supported by increased exports, domestic demand and a recovery in tourism, NESDC head Danucha Pichayanan told a news conference.
The agency expects inflation of 4.2-5.2% this year, up from 1.5-2.5% projected previously, while exports were seen up 7.3% this year versus a 4.9% increase projected earlier
It expects 7 million foreign tourist arrivals this year, versus 5.5 million seen previously, after travel restrictions were eased to help revive the crucial sector, which normally accounts for about 12% of Thai GDP.
However, the numbers are still far below 40 million foreign tourist arrivals in 2019, before the pandemic.