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Thai economy may grow 4.5pc in H1 y/y

5 February 2015 - Imaduddin, Business Recorder

Thailand could grow by 4.5 percent in the first half of 2015, the central bank governor said Thursday, though he acknowledged the economy likely will only slowly recover this year after a bad 2014.

Bank of Thailand (BOT) Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul told a news conference said that as exports won’t improve much, “government spending, especially on investment, is the hope for driving growth”.

With solid spending, annual economic growth could be 4.5 percent in the first half and 3.4 percent in the second half, he said.

To economists, growth of 4.5 percent in January-June wouldn’t indicate a solid recovery, as the first half of 2014 was disastrous. Initially, the government said the economy shrank 0.1 percent, which it later revised to zero growth.

Thailand will report full-year 2014 growth, which the BOT forecasts at 0.8 percent, on Feb. 16.

Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy is still struggling to regain traction nearly nine months after the army took power in May in a bid to end political tension and spur recovery.