Economy firmly on recovery path, Arkhom tells Bangkok Post forum

Economy firmly on recovery path, Arkhom tells Bangkok Post forum

Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith is seen at the Bangkok Post Year-End Forum on Wednesday. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)
Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith is seen at the Bangkok Post Year-End Forum on Wednesday. (Photo: Varuth Hirunyatheb)

The economy remains firmly on the path to recovery despite global uncertainty, and further interest rate hikes will be gradual to ensure that recovery continues, the finance minister said on Wednesday.

Southeast Asia's second-largest economy is stable, with relatively low interest rates, sufficient liquidity and strong fiscal and financial positions, Arkhom Termpittayapaisith told the Bangkok Post Year-End Forum.

"The Thai economy has proved once again that it is highly resilient and can weather the storms," he said, adding that annual third-quarter growth of 4.5% was the fastest pace in more than a year.

The economy is expected to grow 3.4% this year and 3.8% next year, with the tourism sector a key driver, Mr Arkhom said, citing the ministry's forecasts.

However, he said late last month that the economy may not reach a forecast growth of 3.8% next year due to a global economic slowdown, but this year's outlook should be achieved.

Meanwhile, a leading joint business group on Wednesday issued a slightly more pessimistic forecast. The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking said the economy is expected to grow 3.2% this year, versus a previous forecast range of 3.0-3.5%,

Growth in 2023 is projected at 3.0-3.5%, driven by the vital tourism sector but a global slowdown and policy tightening are a risk, said the group.

Thailand's economic recovery has lagged that of other Southeast Asian countries, with the crucial tourism sector only starting to rebound this year.

The economy grew 1.5% last year, among the slowest rates in the region. 


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