Growth rate projected to grow 0.01 to 3.5% this year

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has adjusted up its projection of economic growth rate for this year by 0.01 to 3.5 % from 3.4% and unanimously agreed to maintain policy rate at 1.5%, said Jaturong Jantarangs, secretary of the committee, on Wednesday (July 5).

He said monetary situation in general was continuously relieved and conducive to economic expansion with clear tendency of economic growth resulting from export growth and recovery in tourism industry.

The MPC also adjusted up projection of economic growth rate for the year 2018 from 3.6 to 3.7%.

Exports for the whole year are expected to grow 5% instead of 2% as previously projected whereas the number of foreign tourist arrivals is projected to increase to 34.9 million from 34.5 million, said Mr Jaturong.

Also, he noted that consumption of the private sector tended to increase in tandem with the farming sector's increased revenue although the revenue of labour in the production sector was yet to be affected by the fruit of the economic growth.

However, the improved growth outlook was still subject to external risks. These included sustainability of trading partners' growth, uncertainties pertaining to US economic and foreign trade policies, monetary policy directions of major advanced economies, China's economic structural reforms, and geopolitical risks, he said.

Furthermore, the Committee would also closely monitor the impacts of tighter regulations on immigrant labour that were recently announced.

Headline inflation softened mainly due to supply-side factors especially lower fresh food prices that resulted from this year's higher agricultural output and last year's base effects following the drought, as well as the decline in global oil prices, Mr Jaturong added.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)