ADB forecasts 3.3% and 4.8% growth for Thailand and Asia and Pacific in 2023
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) forecasts faster growth for developing economies in Thailand and Asia and the Pacific this year, as the continued easing of pandemic restrictions boosts consumption, tourism, and investment.
Asia and Pacific
Economies in Asia and the Pacific are projected to grow 4.8% this year and next year, improving on the 4.2% growth rate in 2022. Excluding the PRC, developing Asia is expected to grow 4.6% this year and 5.1% in 2024. The region’s inflation, meanwhile, is forecast to moderate gradually toward pre-pandemic levels, though there is considerable variation across economies.
Improved consumption and investment are boosting recovery in many regional economies, offsetting the impacts of elevated food and energy prices caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine and other global headwinds. Tourism and remittances are trending upward as pandemic restrictions ease further. In many tourism-dependent economies, visitor arrivals are steadily improving toward pre-pandemic levels.
Strong tourism performance and robust domestic demand are boosting Southeast Asian economies like Indonesia, the Philippines, and Viet Nam, with the subregion projected to grow by 4.7% this year and 5.0% in 2024. Economies in the Caucasus and Central Asia can also expect steady growth, with the subregion forecast to expand by 4.4% this year and 4.6% in 2024. Continued reopening and tourism recovery are supporting growth in the Pacific, with expansion likely to reach 3.3% this year before moderating to 2.8% in 2024.
Regional inflation will decelerate to 4.2% in 2023 and 3.3% in 2024 after reaching 4.4% last year. Fading supply chain pressures, tighter monetary conditions, and declining though still elevated commodity prices are expected to shape developing Asia’s inflation outlook.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.
The Thai economy is forecast to expand moderately even as the global economy slows. Real growth should be led by tourism and private consumption. Overall, real
GDP growth is projected to expand by 3.3% in 2023 and 3.7% in 2024, while inflation should ease
On the external front, exports of goods and services in 2023 and 2024 are expected to grow moderately by 6.6% and 6.3%, respectively. A global economic slowdown in 2023 and local currency appreciation would cause a slowdown in merchandise exports. However, in 2024, merchandise exports should bounce back in line with the improving global economic outlook.
As for service exports, international tourism receipts are forecast to pick up mainly due to the return of tourists from the People’s Republic of China. The number of international tourists is projected to be 28 million in 2023 and 35 million in 2024, approaching the pre-pandemic level of 40 million.
Private consumption should gain traction led by improvement in employment, especially in the service sectors. Another factor that drives private consumption is increases in minimum daily wages across the country by an average of 5%.
However, a global economic slowdown may derail the Thai economy from its recovery path as risks are tilted to the downside. Transitioning to a net-zero carbon emissions economy is a policy challenge, but the economy is highly vulnerable to global climate change.