Thailand’s second quarter growth rate lowest in 19 quarters

Thailand’s economic growth rate for the second quarter of this year registered at 2.3%, compared to 2.8% for the first quarter, which is the lowest in 19 quarters, said Mr. Tossaporn Sirisamphan, secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB), Thailand’s economic think-tank.

Although the Thai economy is not yet in a critical condition, he warned that something must be done quickly by the government, otherwise the economic situation will get worse.

Commenting on the over 300 billion baht economic stimulus package, approved by the cabinet last week, Mr. Tossaporn said that Thai exports for the second half of the year must expand by at least 3% and tourist arrivals must exceed 20 million, or revenue from tourism must be 2.4 trillion baht, while private investment must increase at least 2.9% in order to reverse the economic slowdown during the third and fourth quarters.

He blamed Thailand’s economic slowdown during the first half of this year to global economic fluctuations, global financial instability, the trade war between the United States and China and the domestic political situation.

Thai exports for the first half of the year contracted by 4% and exports for the second half must expand by at least 3% in order to achieve the anticipated 3% growth rate for the whole year, said the NESDB chief.

He expressed concern, however, over the risk factors for the Thai economy during the second half of the year, citing the continuing US-China trade war, devaluation of the Chinese Yuan currency and the South Korean currency, as well as the bearish stock markets worldwide.

Nevertheless, he is optimistic that the Thai economy will recover during the third and fourth quarters.



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