NESDC expects Thailand’s economy to grow 3 per cent this year
The Thai economy is expected to grow by 3 per cent this year and 3.7 per cent next year, the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) has forecast.
Speaking at a seminar on “Stronger Thailand” on Tuesday, NESDC secretary-general Danucha Pichayanan said the council had forecast the Thai economy will grow by 2.5 to 3.5 per cent, or 3 per cent median.
The NESDC has discussed with the Bank of Thailand and the Finance Ministry if the economy may grow by 3 per cent based on several economic factors such as inflation and energy price.
These organisations agreed that it could grow by 3 per cent this year as there are several positive factors such as exports, especially of food.
Moreover, Thailand is welcoming more tourists. The country has welcomed around two million foreign tourists in the past five months and is expected to welcome around 7 to 10 million tourists this year.
The NESDC has forecast that the economy will grow by 3.7 per cent next year, lower than the estimates of other economic bureaus who have forecast 4.3 to 4.5 per cent on average, while some agencies expected the economy to grow more than 5 per cent next year.
The NESDC argued that the Thai economy might not be able to recover as fast as several countries' recovery and the Thai economy is dependent on the tourism sector, which contributes 40 per cent of Thailand’s GDP.
Meanwhile, the economic structure of other countries is related to the manufacturing sector.
Danucha said that the tourism sector could recover this year while increasing exports might help the service sector. He said revenue from tourism this year might help Thailand from its current account deficit problems of the past two years.
However, the economic situation in foreign countries is uncertain due to inflation and geopolitical risk, which Thailand must be prepared to deal with.
Danucha said, “We have already controlled the spread [of Covid-19]. We are trying to drive the economy as well as change the economic structure. Every sector, including the public and private sectors, must cooperate as there are a lot of external conflicts. However, Thais must get together to face the effects of the uncertainty that might occur in the future.”