Thai econ­omy gets govt spend­ing boost

The Pak Banker - - BUSINESS -

BANGKOK: Thai­land's econ­omy grew more than an­a­lysts es­ti­mated in the fourth quar­ter as the mil­i­tary govern­ment's se­ries of stim­u­lus mea­sures started to bear fruit, coun­ter­ing a slow­down in ex­ports. Gross do­mes­tic prod­uct ex­panded 2.8 per­cent in the three months through De­cem­ber from a year ear­lier, the Na­tional Eco­nomic and So­cial De­vel­op­ment Board said in Bangkok Mon­day. That com­pares with the 2.6 per­cent me­dian es­ti­mate in a Bloomberg News sur­vey of 22 an­a­lysts. GDP climbed 2.8 per­cent in 2015, more than the me­dian fore­cast of 2.7 per­cent in a sep­a­rate sur­vey. Prime Min­is­ter Prayuth Chan-Ocha has ac­cel­er­ated bud­get spend­ing to help ev­ery­one from farm­ers to small busi­nesses, in an ef­fort to boost lo­cal de­mand amid fall­ing ex­ports. Bank of Thai­land Gov­er­nor Veerathai San­tiprab­hob said last week mon­e­tary pol­icy re­mains ac­com­moda­tive to as­sist the re­cov­ery. The cen­tral bank on Feb. 3 kept its pol­icy in­ter­est rate un­changed for a sixth straight meet­ing. "While fis­cal spend­ing should help prop up the econ­omy in 2016, the pace of the re­cov­ery will be grad­ual, given the back­drop of con­tin­ued political un­cer­tainty and high house­hold debt," Krys­tal Tan, a Sin­ga­pore-based econ­o­mist at Cap­i­tal Eco­nom­ics, said in a note af­ter the data. "Mean­while, lack­lus­tre ex­ter­nal de­mand and de­clin­ing com­pet­i­tive­ness will weigh on goods ex­ports." The baht slipped 0.2 per­cent to 35.67 against the dol­lar as of 10:43 a.m. in Bangkok.

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