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21 Feb 2023

Econ Digest

Thailand’s GDP expected to show continued growth in 2023 despite the fact the Thai economy grew less than expected in 4Q2022


        The Thai economy grew less than expected at 1.4%YoY in 4Q2022, causing the Thai economy in 2022 to expand at only 2.6%YoY, which is lower than the prior estimate of 3.2%YoY. Thailand’s 4Q2022 GDP was pressured primarily by the 10.5%YoY contraction in merchandise exports due to the slowing global economy. Additionally, there was a significant shrinkage in public consumption while public investment grew less than expected as spending and investment related to COVID fell sharply. Moreover, although budgetary disbursements were higher than those reported for 3Q2022, they were still less than those seen during 4Q2021. Nevertheless, steady recovery in tourism helped bolster exports in the service sector to 94.6%YoY. The recovery in tourism was a boon to employment, helping boost private consumption to 5.7%YoY in 4Q2022 although it fell from the 9.1% growth in 3Q2022.

        Looking into 2023, KResearch maintains its growth forecast for the Thai economy at 3.7%, which is higher than the prior 3.2% estimate, or a range of 2.7-3.7% growth, projected by the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC), because KResearch views that the tourism sector will continue driving the economy throughout 2023 even as the global economic downturn may pressure Thai exports to contract slightly. KResearch is of the view that the global economy may not slow down as fast as previously anticipated because China’s reopening will cause the Chinese economy to grow at an accelerated rate, thus supporting the overall global trade and economy. Meanwhile, although the US economy exhibits signs of slowing down, the latest employment figures and retail sales show that the US economy remains robust. As a result, the US may not enter a technical recession sooner than anticipated.

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Econ Digest