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Home arrow News arrow News Snippet arrow Thailand economy plummets
Thailand economy plummets Print E-mail

May 25, 2009
by John Le Fevre

 

Thai EconomyThailand’s National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) has reported that the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) fell 7.1 per cent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2009, with the consumer spending index (CSI) falling for the first time since the Asian financial crisis of 1997.

The government think-tank said Thailand’s GDP declined 4.2 per cent in the last quarter of 2008, but predicted a flattening out to between 2.5 to 3.5 per cent for the entire 2009 year should the political situation stabilize.

More worrying is the drop in the CSI, which fell 2.6 per cent in the first quarter, the first drop since the 1997 Asian economic crisis. In 1998 Thailand’s GDP fell about 11 per cent.

NESDB secretary-general Ampon Kittiampon predicted slower declines in the next three quarters of 2009, if the political scene "stabilized" and the government could go ahead with investments in stimulus programmes.

"If the political situation doesn't deteriorate, I would say we have bottomed out," Ampon said.

The Thailand government is currently putting the finishing touches on a second economic stimulus package worth a reported $US45 billion aimed at enhancing the kingdoms agriculture potential, boosting food exports, and seeing it become a significant producer of alternative fuels.

The package will focus heavily on so-called “mega-projects”, with particular emphasis on infra-structure, schools, road construction, hospitals and residential developments.

The Government has also committed itself to reinvigorating Thailand’s tourism industry, which has suffered a fall in confidence levels following political protests late last year and earlier this year.

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