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15 May 2023

Thai Economy

Thai economy grew 2.7% YoY in 1Q23 as expected (Business Brief No.4002 Full Ed.)


        The Thai economy grew 2.7 percent YoY in 1Q23. After being seasonally adjusted, it expanded 1.9 percent QoQ, which is in line with KResearch’s prior estimate. Thailand's 1Q23 GDP growth was driven primarily by the recovery in tourism, which helped bolster service exports by 87.8 percent YoY, plus a steady growth in private consumption of 5.4 percent YoY, thanks to the economic recovery and ebbing inflation. However, The Thai economy was pressured by persistent contractions in exports in alignment with the global economic downturn and high base of 2022, plus sagging public consumption by 6.2 percent YoY, due partly to the steep decline in spending related to COVID-19.  
        Looking ahead, the Thai economy will continue to be driven chiefly by the recovery in tourism. As a result, KResearch maintains its growth forecast for the Thai economy in 2023 at 3.7 percent. However, the Thai economy will likely experience the risk of global economic downturn, and uncertainties towards domestic factors such as the formation of a new government, which may affect budgetary disbursements in 4Q23. Meanwhile, there is increased uncertainty seen in the global economic outlook amid protracted geopolitical issues, volatile commodity prices and monetary policy tightening of major central banks. These factors along with problems in the banking sector of many Western countries will likely pressure global trade although it will continue to be supported by favorable growth momentum in the Chinese economy after Beijing abandoned its zero-COVID policy Given this, KResearch expects that the overall Thai exports will continue to shrink in 2023 amid several risks foreseen in the country, including uncertainty in the formation of a new government, which may delay the approval of the Budget Bill for the 2024 fiscal year, thus affecting the government’s spending during 4Q23. There are also uncertainties seen in the implementation of various policies, which may dampen the Thai economic performance, going forward.

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Thai Economy