Thailand's economy advanced by 0.5 percent quarter-on-quarter in October-December of 2017, easing from 1 percent growth in the previous period and missing market expectations of 0.7 percent. It was the weakest pace of expansion since the second quarter of 2015, mainly due to a slowdown in exports.
On the expenditure side, net external demand contributed negatively to growth, as exports of goods and services went up 1.2 percent (vs 1.9 percent in Q3), while imports rose at a faster 3 percent (vs 0.9 percent in Q3). Meantime, private consumption increased by 0.8 percent, following a 0.2 percent gain in the September quarter, and fixed investment jumped 2.1 percent, after showing no growth in Q3. Government spending went up by 4.9 percent, recovering from a 1.5 percent contraction in the previous period.
On the production side, growth was mainly driven by wholesale and retail trade (2.3 percent vs 2.2 percent in Q3) and financial intermediation (1.9 percent vs -0.8 percent), while manufacturing stalled (vs 2.9 percent in Q3) and agriculture continued to contract (-6.3 percent vs -5.6 percent).
Year-on-year, the country's GDP growth stood at 4 percent, compared with 4.3 percent in the third quarter and also below market expectations of 4.4 percent.
Considering 2017 as a whole, the economy grew by 3.9 percent, the highest annual gain since 2012. For 2018, the NESDB maintained its economic growth forecast at 3.6-4.6 percent.
2/19/2018 9:58:48 AM