BANGKOK– The World Bank (WB) has adjusted Thailand’s economic growth this year from 4.5 percent to 4.7 percent and positively forecast a 5 percent expansion next year, the Thai News Agency reported on Wednesday.
Kirida Bhaopichitr, a WB senior economist for East Asia and Pacific, said increased household consumption and investment after last year’s massive floods in Thailand, the government’s stimulation of consumer purchases and the successive inflow of foreign funds have contributed to the economic growth despite the country’s declining exports from 9.5 percent last year to only 3 percent this year due to the global economic slowdown and crisis in Europe and the United States.
Thailand’s economic growth next year is predicted at 5 percent thanks to revitalization in the economic sector and the global economy, she said, adding that Thailand’s exports should expand to 5.5 percent next year while investments in the private and public sections should increase by 8 percent and 15 percent respectively.
“World trade will not experience a large increase like in the past, and we must admit the world economy will not be the same as before,” said Ms Kirida.
Other factors influencing Thailand’s growth next year include an increase in capital inflows and foreign direct investment.
Risks Thailand faces next year include the continuing euro-zone crisis, lower commodity prices _ especially for rice _ slow disbursement of the government budget, a strong baht and the increase in the daily minimum wage.