The Thai economic performance remained lackluster in 3Q19 due to a number of factors. These include the anemic global economy, partly as a result of the prolonged trade war, while the strong Baht continued to undermine the pricing competitiveness of Thai exports amid limited growth in public and private investment. However, household spending continued to support the Thai economy. Looking into 4Q19, we at KResearch expect that the Thai economy will exhibit almost the same picture as in 3Q19, though it will likely be driven by additional economic stimuli introduced by the government, with the aim of sustaining household spending, and steady recovery in the number of international tourist arrivals overall. As a result, 4Q19 GDP will likely improve over that seen in 3Q19, but this may not be sufficient to support 2019 economy to grow on a par with our prior estimate of 2.8 percent. We are of the view that 2019 GDP growth may lean towards the lower end of our projection band at not less than 2.5 percent.
For 2020, the Thai economy may experience uncertainties surrounding the trade war and Brexit while the continuing sluggishness foreseen in the world's leading economies and the fact that the Baht will likely strengthen further represent challenges for Thai exports. Given this, easing monetary and fiscal policies may still be necessary to support the Thai economy. KResearch preliminarily projects that the Thai economy will grow within a range of 2.5-3.0 percent in 2020.
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