Thailand Q3 GDP Growth Strongest in 4-1/2 Years
Thailand's GDP advanced 4.3 percent year-on-year in the September quarter of 2017, compared to an upwardly revised 3.8 percent growth in the previous period and beating market consensus of a 3.8 percent growth. It was the strongest expansion since the first quarter 2013, boosted by faster rises in private consumption, government spending, investment and exports.
In the three months to September, private consumption rose 3.1 percent, slightly faster than a 3.0 percent in the prior quarter. The result was mainly due to a favorable growth of non-farming income and personal loan as well as low level of inlation and interest rate. This was offset by deceleration in farming income, due to fall in major corps prices.
Government spending grew 2.8 percent, after a 2.6 percent rise in the September quarter. This acceleration was mainly driven by marked increases in disbursement from construction of water management system, water resources, and urgent road transport system project.
Gross fixed capital formation went up by 1.2 percent, much stronger than a 0.4 percent growth in Q2. Public investment decreased by 2.6 percent, improving from a 7 percent fall in Q2. On the contrary, private investment rose (2.9 percent from 3.2 percent in Q2), due to expansions in machinery and equipment (4.3 percent from 3.2 percent).
Exports of goods and services went up by 7.4 percent, accelerating from a 6 percent increase in the first quarter. Imports of goods and services rose 6.7 percent (from 8.2 percent in Q2).
On the production side, the agriculture sector rose 9.9 percent, slowing from a 16.1 percent expansion in the September quarter. The rise was supported by agriculture, hunting and forestry (10.1 percent from 17.4percent in Q2) and fishing (2.4 percent from 2.4 percent). The non-agricultural sector expanded by 3.8 percent, compared to a 2.8 percent increase previously. An increase was seen for: manufacturing (4.3 percent from 1.1 percent in Q2); wholesale and retail trade (6.4 percent compared to 6 percent in Q2), while electricity, gas & water supply rebounded (3.5 percent from -1.3 percent); hotels and restaurants (6.7 percent compared to 7.5 percent); transportation (8.1 percent compared to 8.7 percent); financial intermediation (4.8 percent compared to 5.1 percent); real estate (4.2 percent compared to 4.4 percent); health and social work (3.6 percent from 3.8 percent) and other community, social and personal services activities (4.9 percent from 5.9 percent). On the other hand, a decline was seen for: construction (-1.7 percent from -6.2 percent) and mining & quarrying (-8.4 percent from -6.9 percent), private household with employed persons (-7.2 percent from -2.8 percent), and education (-0.3 percent compared to 0.4 percent).
The NESD predicted 2017 GDP growth at 3.9 percent, compared with a 3.5-4.0 percent range seen earlier, and it revised up the export outlook to a 8.6 percent increase from 5.7 percent. In 2016, the economy grew by 3.2 percent. For 2018, it forecasts GDP growth of 3.6-4.6 percent, with exports seen up 5 percent.
On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted basis, the economy expanded 1 percent in Q3 of 2017, slower than an upwardly revised 1.4 percent expansion in the prior quarter while markets estimated a 0.75 percent growth. It was the weakest quarterly growth since the fourth quarter 2016.
11/20/2017 12:31:59 PM