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Thai economy set to improve second half of year

21 June 2016 - Bangkok Post

The economy will grow faster in the second half of this year as farmers will earn more incomes and the effects of government stimulus measures take hold, the Thai Chamber of Commerce said on Tuesday. Growth should expand by 3.3% in the latter half on the back of a 2.6% rise in exports and 0.9% inflation, said chairman Isara Vongkusolkit, who also heads the Board of Trade of Thailand. Based on the forecasts, The prices of commodities, including farm products, would rise in accordance with oil prices, which should return to normal levels in the second half due to higher demand and lower supply, he said.

The prices of rice, rubber and oil palm, the main products of Thailand, are likely to rise, lifting the purchasing power of farmers. The factor will support the economic growth in the second half of 2016, he said. Other positive factors are government stimulus measures, export recovery signs, increasing tourism investment by the private sector, accelerated disbursement of government budgets and outlays, low policy interest rate of 1.5%, implementation of infrastructure projects and development progress of special economic zones along the borders, he said.

The forward-looking industries sentiment index over the next three months also rose from 97.2 in April to 98.7 in May as government investment, especially in infrastructure projects, bolstered confidence to follow suit among business operators, Mr Chen said.