GROSS domestic product is expected to grow by 3.0-4.0 per cent next year mainly from an export rebound, a rise in agricultural production, and strong tourism, according the National Economic and Social Development Board.
Porametee Vimolsiri, secretary-general of the NESDB, said yesterday that higher exports would encourage investment by the private sector, and a stronger agricultural sector would stimulate household spending. There would also be more investment from the government sector.
“Total export value will grow by 2.4 per cent, household spending will rise by 2.7 per cent, and total investment will climb 5 per cent year on year,” he said.
The NESDB said third-quarter GDP grew by 3.2 per cent, compared with 3.5-per-cent growth in the second quarter. As a result, the economy in the first nine months of 2016 grew by 3.3 per cent.
On the production side, for the agricultural sector, easing of the drought resulted in higher crop production in the third quarter, while livestock and fishery production maintained their expansion. Consequently, overall agricultural production grew by 0.9 per cent after declining for seven consecutive quarters.
The non-agricultural sector expanded by 3.2 per cent, mainly driven by the service sector, whereas the manufacturing sector increased only slightly, by 0.9 per cent, compared with a rise of 2.1 per cent in second quarter.
On the expenditure side, domestic demand grew at a slower rate mainly attributed to private consumption with a rise of 3.5 per cent.
Government spending declined by 5.8 per cent, and gross fixed capital formation rose by 1.4 per cent.
The volume of exports of goods and service rose by 3.4 per cent, whereas imports of goods and services shrank by 1.3 per cent.
After seasonal adjustment, the economy grew by 0.6 per cent in the third quarter year on year.
For the entire year, GDP is expected to grow by 3.2 per cent, up from 2.8 per cent in 2015.
However, some negative factors lie ahead.
These include instability of the US and European economies as well as financial and real-estate problems in China.
“The tourism sector will continue to grow in the final quarter despite the government crackdown on zero-dollar tours because more than 100 |tour operators will bring tourists into the country,” Porametee said.
Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, deputy governor for marketing communications at the Tourism Authority of Thailand, said the agency would attempt to boost domestic travel during the year-end period by promoting more attractions in Royal Project areas.
Don Nakornthab, senior director of macroeconomic and monetary policy at the Bank of Thailand, said that even though the Thai economy was growing in line with the BOT forecasts, growth in the next stage would depend on the recovery of the global economy.
Of particular concern are the impacts from US policy after the transition to a new administration in that country.
Moreover, the crackdown on zero-dollar tours, the recovery of the export sector and the low level of private investment |are three factors that to be |monitored because of their influence on the Thai economy, he said.