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Bank of Thailand Governor Believes Economy Will Improve in Second Half of 2019

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BANGKOK – Bank of Thailand (BoT) governor Veerathai Santiprabhob has told a press briefing that Thailand’s economy should improve in the second half this year due to several positive factors including a new government to be formed and an improvement of Thailand’s international trade.

But if the new administration which is to be established following a general election on March 24 this year is delayed until this August or September, then negative consequences would affect Thailand’s economy evaluation in 2019, said Mr Veerathai.

It has been projected that the country’s economy this year would grow 3.8 per cent, he said, adding that if the new government is formed in August or September then it could affect the government’s pending projects.

Projects that are within government fiscal budget 2020, starting this October 1, need to be approved by members of the House of Representatives, now still unclear by the Election Commission, will be postponed for consideration, he said.

Simultaneously, the private sector is still awaiting clear signals from the new government to make a final decision, for example, daily minimum wage for workers and trade talks with Thailand’s negotiating countries, said Mr Veerathai.

Economy in the second half this year is expected to be better than the first half due to positive climate of international trade while local traders have imported and stored goods since late last year, he said.

As a result, advance order for goods and total production in the beginning this year are lower than normal, said Mr Veerathai. Production and the country’s exports would pick up in the second half while certain corporates would transfer production base to Thailand during the period.