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Financial News: Thailand Economy Likely To Maintain Strong Growth Momentum

Thailand Economy Likely To Maintain Strong Growth Momentum: Capital Economics

08/21/2017 - 09:03:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Thailand's economy is likely to continue its strong growth momentum in the coming quarters, underpinned by strong external demand and loose monetary and fiscal policy, despite an uncertain political outlook, Gareth Leather, an economist at Capital Economics, said.

Official data released on Monday showed that GDP advanced 1.3 percent sequentially in the second quarter, the same rate of expansion as in the first three months of the year.

Annual growth accelerated to 3.7 percent from 3.3 percent. Moreover, this was the quickest rate of increase since the first quarter of 2013.

The growth was largely boosted by a sharp acceleration in government expenditure and net export growth, the economist observed.

"Looking ahead, we think the recovery in Thailand's economy has a bit further to run." Leather pointed out.

Firstly, exports should continue to benefit from strong global demand, the economist said. Further, supportive fiscal and monetary policy also will help in the near term, Leather added.

However, the main risk for the economy is the uncertain political outlook, the economist cautioned.

"Not only have elections been repeatedly delayed, but provisions within Thailand's new constitution allow for the installation of an unelected prime minister. "

Another outbreak of protests and violent conflict would deal a significant blow to the economy, especially for the country's tourism sector as it accounts for roughly 10 percent of GDP. Besides this, business and consumer sentiment would also be hurt.

Capital Economics expects Thailand's growth to come in at 3.5 percent this year.

"However, we expect growth to slow in 2018, to 3.0 percent, as domestic political concerns return to the fore," the economist predicted.

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