Finance Ministry raises 2023 growth forecast to 3.8%
The Finance Ministry on Friday raised the growth forecast for Thailand this year from 3% to 3.8%, citing a near 150% year-on-year rise in tourist arrivals as well as higher than expected domestic consumption as the main factors.
Declining fuel prices and weakening demand in key export markets, however, will help offset inflationary pressure, said Pornchai Thiraveja, the ministry's spokesperson and director of its Fiscal Policy Committee.
He said the surge in tourists will primarily be from other Asian countries.
"This year, 27.5 million foreign tourists are expected to visit Thailand, up 147% year on year," Pornchai said.
Exports, however, are expected to increase just 0.4% due to declining demand in key markets, he said.
He forecast that trade would see a surplus of US$3.1 billion this year, equivalent to about 0.5% of the country's gross domestic product.
Private consumption and investment are forecast to expand by 3.5% and 3.6%, respectively, due to rising incomes and greater confidence in the domestic economy, he said.
Economic slowdowns and financial market volatility among trading partners, especially the United States and European Union, would negatively impact Thailand’s economy, he said.
"Geopolitical risks across the region will affect Thailand's security and production," Pornchai added.
Thailand's economy will also be affected by China's economic growth, following the relaxation of its zero-Covid policy, he said.
"Fiscal policy still has an important role for mitigating the impact of various crises and supporting economic expansion," Pornchai said.
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