Kata Rocks

GDP 4-5pc this year, but inflation soars

THAILAND: The Ministry of Finance is predicting Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expansion in 2011 of 4 to 5 per cent as a consequence of continuous growth in domestic consumption and exports.

Saturday 9 July 2011, 08:16AM

Inflation in Thailand accelerated sharply in June.

Inflation in Thailand accelerated sharply in June.

Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) Director Naris Chaiyasoot said in a press briefing that the country’s GDP growth was on track with the ministry’s forecast made in March of around 4.5 per cent.

On the domestic side the drivers were “continuously expanding private consumption” in line with higher earnings by Thai citizens and a satisfactory employment rate. Internationally constant export growth in response to the flourishing economies of trade partners in Asia contributed significantly.

Mr Naris said headline inflation for this year is expected to be 3.8 per cent, mainly due to higher commodities and fuel prices.

Meanwhile, the Bank of Thailand (BoT) has reported that the Thai economy in May 2011 expanded “remarkably”.

The Director of the BoT’s Domestic Economy Department, Methee Supapong, said significant month-on-month growth was seen in the national economy in May this year, thanks to the government’s economic stimulus measures and “liveliness” in private consumption and investment.

Contributing to the growth were exports of Thai agricultural products, with exports of rice reaching an all-time high.

The only dark spot, he said, was in the automotive industry, still shrinking for the second consecutive month as a result of the earthquake and tsunami disasters in Japan earlier this year.

A surplus of B14 billion THB was also reported in the national cash reserves due to more effective collection of corporate income taxes, in combination with mounting overseas demands for Thai exports and tour packages.

The Director noted that demand in combination with rising consumer product prices had pushed headline inflation in June to 4.19 per cent, with core inflation at 2.48 per cent.

Core inflation is based on the Consumer Price Index but excludes the more volatile numbers for energy and food. Headline inflation includes these two. – NNT



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