By The Nation
The bank said in a press release on Friday that for 2019, Thai businesses were recommended to start securing new markets, enhance brand differentiation through innovation, strengthen supply chain, and most significantly consider investing in EEC, an industrial area of the future which offers abundant business opportunities and government incentives.
TMB projected a major world economic slowdown in 2019 influenced by key factors: leading indicators of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) signalling the global economy being in ‘Late Economic Cycle’, falling energy prices and global manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) since 2018, and China’s slowdown due to the ongoing trade war with US, extremely high debt level of 267 per cent of GDP and dropping national wealth pulled by a Bear market.
The bank said that Thailand’s economy in 2019 will expand with domestic demands as key driver. GDP of 2019 is projected to be at 3.8 per cent, a slight drop from 4.0 per cent in 2018, with growing private consumption as a main supportive factor.
Thai export growth is expected to decrease to 4.3 per cent YoY from 6.7 per cent YoY in 2018 due to global economic slowdown particularly of China, Thai-US trade war (No GSP), and the effects from prolonged US-China trade war.
Key exports include auto and auto parts, electronics and computer parts, machinery, foods and agro-products respectively.
Meanwhile, tourism growth is estimated to rise to 6.6 per cent YoY in 2019 from 6.4 per cent YoY in a year earlier. Around 40.2 million inbound tourists are projected.
Although in late 2018 Thailand faced negative monthly growth rates of Chinese tourists, this year the country’s tourism would expand well with tourists from Asean, East Asia and US as dominant visitors.