Thai Fin Min maintains GDP growth estimate at 4-5 pct

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Thailand’s Ministry of Finance yesterday announced the economic growth of the country for this year is expected to be within the range of 4-5 percent as earlier forecast since December last year.

Dr Naris Chaiyasoot, the director-general of the ministry’s Fiscal Policy Office (FPO), said although the office had revised its estimation for the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth for 2011, it believed the annual GDP would however grow 4-5 percent as targeted earlier, compared with the growth of 7.8 percent last year.
This year’s GDP growth, he said, might be also affected by the current major flooding in several southern provinces, which has so far damaged some 56,000 rai of farmland.
However, there are several positive factors to the GDP growth, such as the global economic recovery, the country’s general election which is expected to be held around the middle of this year, an increase in domestic consumption due to higher prices of agricultural products, and the increased salaries of government officials and state enterprise employees.
In addition, Boonchai Charassangsomboon, director of FPO’s Bureau of Macroeconomic Policy, added that in 2011 Thailand’s economic stability remains robust, with headline inflation is projected to stand at 3.6 percent for the year while core inflation to stand at 2.5 percent.

He said the external stability remains resilient, with projected current account surplus of 3.5 percent of this year’s GDP, which is slightly lower than that of last year due to the revival of private consumption and investment coupled as well as the rise in oil price.

Dr Naris added that the economic projection needs to take several risk factors needing close monitoring into account, they are especially the speed of recovery of Japanese economy from the recent earthquake and tsunami, the political turmoil in the Middle East that could affect the volatility of global crude oil price, and the international capital flow situation that could impact the exchange rates.

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