Cautious optimism on the economic front

Cautious optimism on the economic front

A woman walks past an advertisement on a property project in the Ploenchit area on Nov 16, 2015. (Post Today photo)
A woman walks past an advertisement on a property project in the Ploenchit area on Nov 16, 2015. (Post Today photo)

The Thai economy will expand by 2.8% by year-end, and government megaprojects will accelerate higher growth rates next year, the Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) said on Thursday.

The FPO, which comes under the Finance Ministry, pointed to stimulus measures created by the government to help farmers hit by drought and small and medium-sized enterprises, and a jump in the number of tourists, as being among the key drivers for the economy rising 2.8% this year from a dismal 0.9% last year.

This year's projection is in line with other agencies including the National Economic and Social Development Board which estimated growth at 2.9%.

The pace will be accelerated to 3.8% next year after more projects are kick-started and they will shore up business confidence and lead to more investment in the country, it added.

The government's economic team led by Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak is speeding up infrastructure investments including improving roads and railways and building new ones to slash transport costs and make the country competitive in the global market place.

The tourism sector is also carrying the country as the Tourism and Sports Ministry expects the number of tourists to break the target of 29 million set earlier this year.

But FPO director-general Kritsada Jinavijarana said the road to economic recovery will not be rosy as drought could hit farmers in the pocket amid global uncertainty.

"The economic projection has to take into account risks which need to be closely watched such as the weakened global economy, the fluctuations of capital flows and the exchange rate as well as the drought situation," he said.

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