FPO cuts 2015 GDP forecast to 3%

FPO cuts 2015 GDP forecast to 3%

The better-than-expected tourism sector will help boost the Thai economy in 2015. (Bangkok Post file photo)
The better-than-expected tourism sector will help boost the Thai economy in 2015. (Bangkok Post file photo)

New predictions of an export contraction have prompted the Fiscal Policy Office to cut its economic-growth forecast for Thailand to 3% for 2015.

FPO director-general Krisada Chinavicharana said Tuesday an earlier GDP prediction of 3.7% growth was based on the assumption exports would grow 0.2% this year. With outbound shipments now expected to fall 4% year-on-year, the office had to cut its economic-growth estimate to 3%.

The Commerce Ministry on Monday announced that the exports tumbled 7.87% year-on-year in June, resulting in a 4.87% contraction in the first half of this year.

Mr Krisada said exports have been hurt by a slowing global economy, particularly in China where growth is estimated at 6.9% in 2015.

He said one positive factor bolstering the economy is better-than-expected growth in tourism, with 29.9 million tourists now seen visiting Thailand this year, up from an earlier estimate of 29.4 million. As a result, tourism revenue is expected to expand 24% from 2014.

Mr Krisada said government attempts to accelerate budget disbursements would help boost the economy in the second half of the year.

The office also found that private consumption had improved from 2014 thanks to low oil prices and interest rates. At the same time, private investment has picked up in line with expansion in government investment.

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