Tuesday, January 21, 2020

UTCC unit trims 2020 growth forecast to 2.8%

Jan 14. 2020
Thanavath Phonvichai
Thanavath Phonvichai
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By THE NATION

The Centre of Economic and Business Forecasting under The University of Thai Chamber of Commerce (UTCC) has revised downward its forecast of the country's economic growth this year to 2.8 per cent from 3.1 per cent, citing a number of emerging negative factors.

Thanavath Phonvichai, the centre's president of advisors, on Monday (January 13) labelled the strengthening baht the main risk factor, which could cost the Thai export sector about Bt80 billion in losses this year.

Others included a spike in global oil prices should the US-Iran conflict escalates while the drought could lead to Bt10 billion in damages to the farm sector. 

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

These three factors could cost the country between Bt105 billion and Bt120 billion or about 0.5 per cent of gross domestic product, he added. 

The political uncertainties is another risk factor that could dent foreign investors' confidence, Thanavath said.

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