An increase in tourism and domestic consumption warmed up Thailand economy (a bit)

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The Thai economy improved in June and momentum should continue in the second half of the year thanks to an increase in tourism and domestic consumption as Pandemic restrictions ease, a central bank official said on Wednesday.

While the tourism boom is a good boost to the economy, Chayawadee Chai-Anant, senior director of the Bank of Thailand (BOT), said officials are monitoring inflation, the COVID-19 outbreaks and the global economy.

Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy made headway in the second quarter compared to the previous quarter, with expected year-on-year growth of 3% or slightly more, she said.

The official gross domestic product for the second quarter will be announced by the state planning bureau on August 15. In the first quarter, annual GDP growth was 2.2%.

The Thai baht and regional currencies continue to show a weakening trend due to the strength of the dollar, she said.

But the baht has been more depressed than its peers in July over fears that the Chinese economy would recover more slowly than expected and that would hit Thailand, she said.

“Cash flows continue to move in accordance with investors’ views on the economy and the financial sector… but I haven’t seen anything to worry about yet,” Chayawadee said.

In June, the economy improved compared to the previous month. Exports increased 11.1% year-on-year, while imports increased 24.3%, resulting in a $2.1 billion dollar trade surplus in the month.

Meanwhile, the country recorded a current account deficit of $1.9 billion in June, down from a deficit of $3.7 billion in the previous month.

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