Robust economy in 2012: BOT
Thailand's economy expanded well in 2012, partly from private reconstruction investment after the flood and partly from the extra stimulus provided by the government and accommodative monetary conditions, said the Bank of Thailand.
The central bank forecast 5.7 per cent growth rate for the economy last year.
In a statement, it said that even though the impact of weakening global demand became more apparent in the latter half of the year, spillovers beyond merchandise exports and export-oriented manufacturing production were limited.
"Economic stability remained sound as the unemployment rate stayed low and inflation moderated from the previous year, owing largely to a decline in fresh food prices.The balance of payments registered a stronger surplus compared to the year earlier with contribution from both the current account and the capital account," it said.
In December alone, private spending decelerated following a marked acceleration in the preceding period.The Private Consumption Index (PCI) contracted by 2.9 percent month-on-month from lower VAT collection, which was in line with a decline in imports of consumer goods and automobile purchases. Nonetheless, automobile purchases remained at an exceptionally high level as car manufacturers continued to utilise full production capacity to accommodate the order backlog. The Private Investment Index (PII) also declined by 0.8 percent from the previous month as
investment in machinery and equipment had already accelerated in the flood reconstruction period. At the same time, construction investment was partly constrained by labour shortage.
Export value in the month hit US$17.96 billion while the tourism sector remained buoyant thanks to the increase in tourist arrivals from China, Asean, South Korea and Japan.
In the month, headline inflation accelerated to 3.63 per cent on year due to higher vegetable and fruit prices. Core inflation stabilised at 1.78 per cent on year. Non-resident portfolio investment and short-term borrowing by foreign bank branches contributed surplus in the capital account.