3.8% growth tipped next year on govt spending
THE economy is expected to expand 3.8 per cent next year, boosted by government spending following rises in public and state-enterprise investment budgets, according to the Ministry of Finance.
Suwit Rojanavanich, finance spokesman and directorgeneral at Fiscal Policy Office, said budgets for public and state-enterprise investments will keep rising throughout the 2018 fiscal year. Thailand’s announced election schedule helps boost business confidence and entice more private investment in the country.
The overall economic growth range is estimated at 3.34.3 per cent next year.
Public investment is expected to climb 11.9 per cent and private investment is projected to advance 3.4 per cent.
Private consumption is anticipated to rise gradually at 3.4 per cent on the back of expected rise in non-farm household income and easing monetary conditions.
Meanwhile, Thailand’s trading partners are expected to see economic expansion at the rates close to last year’s which would likely lead to expansion in Thai exports on a gradual basis, he said.
Overall Thai exports of products and services are projected to grow 4 per cent next year while imports are expected to rise 7.9 per cent in terms of value. Exports of products alone are expected to increase 5.7 per cent.
The current account is expected to have a surplus of US$42.4 billion or 8.8 per cent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) next year following an expected trade surplus of $27.2 billion. Headline inflation will likely stay at 1.4 per cent in 2018, higher than this year’s estimated figure on the back of an expected recovery in domestic demand and higher energy prices, he said. Its estimated range is 0.9- 1.9 per cent. However, risks to growth exist with close monitoring needed on economic recoveries of Thailand’s trading partners and developed countries’ monetary policies, Suwit said. Thai economic growth is estimated at 3.8 per cent this year.
Private investment, particularly in automobile-related machinery and tools, is expected to recover in the second half of this year.
Private consumption continues to increase due to likely improvement in household income and tourism. Headline inflation is projected at 0.7 per cent following domesticdemand recovery and likely rise in global crude price.
In September of this year, private investment marked a recovery at accelerating rate, reflecting from rises of a 11.4 per cent year-on-year in imports of capital goods in the month and, thus, 8.2 per cent in the third quarter.
Private consumption improved in September, reflecting from a 2 per cent rise year-on-year in value added tax (VAT) at constant prices, which prompted the third-quarter VAT increase of 5.9 per cent year-on-year.
Thai exports rose for a seventh straight month in September, rising 12.2 per cent year-on-year with jewelry and accessories, gold, electronics items and rubber products leading the pack .
In the month, imports increased 9.7 per cent year-onyear, led by raw materials and semi-finished materials, capital goods, gold and consumer products. September's trade posted a surplus of $3.4 billion.
Agricultural production index increased 7.0 per cent, marking its advance for an eight straight month in September, led by paddy rice, rubber and tapioca. The number of foreign tourists to Thailand advanced 5.7 per cent year-on-year in September to 2.56 million, led by Chinese, Koreans, Cambodians and Indians.