Q2 GDP growth below forecast, outlook trimmed

Q2 GDP growth below forecast, outlook trimmed

Thailand's economy expanded slower than expected in the second quarter, data showed on Monday, with strength in tourism helping to counter weaker exports amid a slowdown in global demand.

The government cut its 2023 gross domestic product growth forecast to 2.5% to 3.0% from a range of 2.7% to 3.7%, citing slower exports.

Southeast Asia's second-largest economy grew 1.8% in the April-June period from a year earlier, the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) said, below the 3.1% expansion expected by economists in a Reuters poll. Gross domestic product (GDP) had risen 2.7% year-on-year in the first quarter.

On a quarterly basis, GDP rose a seasonally adjusted 0.2% in the June quarter, versus a forecast rise of 1.2%. First-quarter GDP was revised to 1.7% from an earlier 1.9% increase.

As weak global demand crimps exports, Thailand's economy has been supported by its vital tourism sector and private consumption growth. The agency maintained a forecast of 28 million foreign tourist arrivals this year. It projected exports to drop 1.8% in 2023 versus an earlier forecast for a 1.6% fall.

Exports, a key driver of growth, have contracted since October 2022, due to soft global demand, especially due to a slowdown in China, Thailand's major trading partner. 

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