BANGKOK — May 21, 2019: Thailand’s economy grew at the slowest pace in four years in the first quarter of the year, following escalating United States-China trade war and an economic slowdown that weighed on exports.
The gross domestic product growth in Q1 stood at 2.8 per cent compared with 3.6 per cent in Q1 2018.
The country has reduced its 2019 economic growth forecast to between 3.3 and 3.8 per cent from 3.5 to 4.5 per cent due to a slowdown in global trade tensions and political uncertainty in the country after the March 24 national election.
“A new government would end uncertainties in the country and speed up investment budget disbursements as well as trade negotiations. A new government will handle issues related to trade tensions between US and China.
“The growth in the second half is expected to improve as the global trade environment is likely to recover,” said secretary-general of the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC), Thosaporn Sirisumphand, at a briefing today.
Political uncertainty in the country continues to loom as political parties are struggling to form a new government, two months after the first election held since the 2014 coup.
The economic planning agency said private investments rose 4.4 per cent while public investments dropped 0.1 per cent in Q1.
For exports and imports of goods and services, the NESDC’s data showed that it fell 4.9 per cent and 0.2 per cent respectively, compared with a rise of 0.7 per cent and 5.7 per cent in the preceding quarter.
The data also showed the agricultural sector grew by 0.9 per cent, up slightly from an expansion of 0.7 per cent in the preceding quarter, while the non-agricultural sector increased by 3.0 per cent, down from a rise of 4.0 per cent in Q4 2018. — Bernama