Thursday, July 02, 2020

UTCC set to lower Thai economic, export growth projections

Jan 11. 2020
 Thanavath Phonvichai,  left
Thanavath Phonvichai, left
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By THE NATION

The University of Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) will revise downward its forecast of the country's economic growth this year from the previous prediction of 3.1 per cent, due to a number of emerging negative factors, said Thanavath Phonvichai, director of Centre of Economic and Business Forecasting on Friday (January 10).

UTCC will also lower export growth forecast from 1.8 per cent for 2020, he added.

The drought is expected to cause an economic contraction of 0.03 per cent, totalling Bt8 billion to Bt10 billion.

An escalation of the US-Iran conflict could spike crude price to between US$75-80 per barrel from around US$65 per barrel, he said. A price hike of Bt1 per litre in all fuel types would mean that Thai consumers will have to shoulder an additional living cost of Bt2.1 billion monthly.

Regarding the strengthening baht, he said its appropriate value should be Bt31 per US dollar.

On January 7, Ghanyapad Tantipipatpong, chairwoman of Thai National Shippers' Council said the council expected zero or a 1 per cent growth in Thai exports this year from 2019.

The forecast was based on the assumption of the average baht value at Bt30.5 per US dollar. The baht was at Bt30.17 per US dollar as of January 6.

If the Thai currency strengthens beyond that level, exports this year may contract by 5 per cent, she said.

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