Thailand’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2Q19 registered the weakest growth in five years at 2.3 percent (lower than initial market expectations of 2.5 percent annually). Consequently, Thailand’s GDP in 1H19 expanded 2.6 percent, with weakness attributed to slowing global economic growth and the strong Thai Baht. Exports and tourist arrivals registered a sustained decline from the previous quarter. Household spending may help drive economic momentum going forward, albeit at a slower pace.
Future developments in geo-political situations remain the major risk to any expansion of the Thai economy. If such factors affect the Thai export sector, and the effects spill over to affect domestic business operations and employment, the government may need to introduce additional stimulus measures to cushion the impacts and keep the business momentum going. The prospective measures may help mitigate the effects of unemployment on the overall economy. KResearch has maintained our economic growth projection for 2019 at 3.1 percent. Nonetheless, since the Thai economy performed worse than initial projections in 1H19, the GDP growth for full-year 2019 is likely to tilt towards the lower end of our estimates, ranging from 2.9 to 3 percent.
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