The National Economic and Social Development Board on Monday revealed that the Thai economy in the fourth quarter expanded 0.6 per cent from the previous quarter.
The economy expanded 0.6 per cent from the same period a year earlier. This brought the 2013 growth rate to 2.9 per cent. HSBC expected the annualised growth to be 2.8 per cent.
According to HSBC Asean economist Su Sian Lim, the quarter-on-quarter growth rate was higher than the 0.4 per cent forecast by the bank.
"But the underlying data revealed an ongoing contraction in domestic demand, amid increased political uncertainty," she said.
Consumer, government and investment spending were all weaker than we had forecast. Net exports were a small bright spot, but again largely because feeble domestic activity meant a sequential collapse in imports.
"Sequentially, private consumption was flat, despite monthly data suggesting a slight pick-up. That said, in light of the political instability and considering that consumer spending had been steadily contracting the three quarters prior, this is not such a bad number," she added.
The NESDB has cut its forecast for this year's economic growth to 3-4 per cent. The NESDB's earlier estimate for 2014 GDP growth was 4-5 per cent.