Thailands Economic Growth Beats All Forecasts as Exports Rise

Thailand’s economy grew faster than economists estimated last quarter as exports and tourism rose.

Key Points
Gross domestic product rose 4.8 percent from a year ago, the National Economic and Social Development Board saidThe median estimate of 18 economists in a Bloomberg survey was 4 percent GDP rose a seasonally adjusted 2 percent compared with the previous three months, higher than the 1.2 percent median estimate

Four years after the military seized power, Thailand’s economy is rebounding with growth being sustained by a pick-up in exports and tourism. The central bank last week held its benchmark rate near a record low to help support the economic recovery as businesses are still reluctant to invest.

Click to read the central bank saying it doesn’t feel pressure to join the global tightening

The military government has cut red tape, stepped up efforts to woo foreign-direct investment for industrial modernization and is boosting infrastructure. But big projects have faced some delays and elections expected next year inject uncertainty into the outlook.

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The World Bank has said raising Thailand’s potential growth above 4 percent to 5 percent remains a challenge. Boosting education and services are critical to raising productivity as the population rapidly ages.

— With assistance by Ditas B Lopez, and Michael J Munoz