Thailand’s Q1 GDP Growth Beats Forecast But 2022 Outlook …

The economy of Thailand grew faster than forecast in the first quarter (1Q2022) buoyed by a pickup in agriculture and an easing of Covid-19 curbs, but inflationary pressure would like to drag on a fragile recovery and outlook of 2022.

The government cut its 2022 economic growth forecast to 2.5-3.5% from 3.5-4.5%, due to higher prices and slower global growth due to the geopolitical crisis of Ukraine-Russia.

Meanwhile, Last year’s expansion was revised to 1.5% from 1.6%, among the slowest growth rates in the region.

Thailand’s economy, ranked as Southeast Asia’s second largest, expanded a seasonally adjusted 1.1% in the March quarter from the previous three months, data from the National Economic and Social Development Council showed.

Gross domestic product (GDP) grew 2.2% year-on-year, in January-March, beating a forecast 2.1% rise, and after revised 1.8% growth in the previous three months.

“The economy this year will be supported by increased exports, domestic demand and a recovery in tourism,” NESDC head Danucha Pichayanan was quoted as saying to a news conference.

The agency forecasts inflation to range from 4.2 to 5.2% this year, up from 1.5 to 2.5% projected previously, while exports were seen up 7.3% this year versus a 4.9% increase projected earlier.

This year, it is expected to have 7 million foreign tourist arrivals versus 5.5 million seen previously, after travel restrictions were eased to help revive the crucial sector, which normally accounts for about 12% of Thai GDP.

The numbers are still far below 40 million foreign tourist arrivals in 2019, however, pre-pandemic. 

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