The Thai economy in the second quarter expanded by 3.5 per cent, convincing the national think tank that the full-year economic growth would reach 3-3.5 per cent.
The figures released by the Office of National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) showed that that the second-quarter economy expanded by 0.8 per cent from the first quarter, boosting the first-half growth rate to 3.4 per cent.
The growth rate in the first quarter was 3.2 per cent compared to the same period a year earlier.
An improvement in the agricultural sector raised farm income by 3.7 per cent in the second quarter - the first increase in ten quarters, said NESDB Secretary-General Porametee Vimolsiri at the press conference today.
In the second quarter, the economy was driven exports of services and public investment, while merchandise exports continued to contract. The hotel and restaurant as well as construction sectors continued to grow at high rates, while the agricultural output and prices improved.
While household consumption expanded by 3.8 per cent year on year, the number of international visitors increased by 8.2 per cent. Tourism receipts rose by 14.7 per cent. NESDB remains confident that at the end of this year, the arrival figures would reach the target of 33 million.
For the full year, the think tank pinned hopes on the expansion of government expenditure, additional stimulus packages, and improvement in farm income. Headwinds include merchandise exports which could contract 1.9 per cent on year, while private consumption and total investment should expand by only 2.7 per cent and 3.3 per cent, respectively. While inflation is expected to stay between 0.1 - 0.6 per cent, the current account surplus is forecasted to reach 9.8 per cent of GDP.