Bank of Thailand, govt renew spat after weak Q4 growth

Bank of Thailand, govt renew spat after weak Q4 growth

Commuters near Chong Nongsi Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTS) subway station in Bangkok, Feb 12, 2023. (Bloomberg photo)
Commuters near Chong Nongsi Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTS) subway station in Bangkok, Feb 12, 2023. (Bloomberg photo)

Thailand's weak fourth-quarter economic data was in line with expectations, a central bank official said on Monday, as the economic growth missed analysts' forecasts.

The economy grew 1.7% in the fourth quarter of 2023 from a year earlier and contracted 0.6% from the previous period, with full 2023 growth coming in at 1.9%.

"The figures were not a surprise. Some (indicators) were better than we had expected," Sakkapop Panyanukul, a senior director at the Bank of Thailand, told Reuters.

However, the figures prompted Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin to renew his calls for a cut in interest rates on Monday, saying the public was hurting from the current levels.

The current rate is 2.50%, Thailand's highest in a decade, and Mr Srettha, who has locked horns with the central bank over the issue, in a government statement said a 25 basis points reduction would be appropriate.


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