Monday August 21 2017
Thailand GDP Growth Strongest In 4 Years In Q2
NESDB | Charles | charles@tradingeconomics.com

Thailand’s GDP expanded 3.7 percent from a year earlier in the June quarter of 2017, compared to a 3.3 percent growth in the first quarter 2017 and above market expectations of a 3.2 percent expansion. It is the strongest growth rate since the first quarter of 2013, amid higher exports and robust farm, tourism and retail output.

In the three months to June, private consumption growth moderated to 3 percent, compared to 3.2 percent in the prior quarter. The result was partly due to higher agricultural income from an increase in major crops production along with expansion in personal loan and improving of the consumer confidence index, as well as a lower inflation rate. This was offset by continued deceleration in expenditure on semi-durable goods and net services.

Government spending grew 2.7 percent, greatly accelerating from a 0.3 percent rise in the March quarter. This acceleration was mainly driven by marked increases in compensation of employees, consumption of fixed capital and social transfers in kind in form of goods & services.

Gross fixed capital formation went up by 0.4 percent, compared to a 1.7 percent growth in Q1. Public investment decreased by 7 percent, following a 9.7 percent increase in Q1 due to a contraction in construction, alongside a slowdown in machinery and equipment investment. On the contrary, private investment rebounded (+3.2 percent from -1.1 percent in Q1), due to expansions in construction, and machinery and equipment.

Exports of goods and services grew by 6 percent, accelerating from a 2.7 percent increase in the first quarter. Imports of goods and services rose 8.2 percent (from 6.1 percent in Q1).

On the production side, the agriculture sector rose 15.8 percent, much faster than a 5.7 percent expansion in the March quarter. The rise was supported by agriculture, hunting and forestry (17 percent from 6.3 percent in Q1) and fishing (2.4 percent from 0.8 percent). The non-agricultural sector expanded by 2.7 percent, compared to a 3.1 percent increase previously. Growth in the sector eased for: manufacturing (1 percent from 1.3 percent in Q1), health and social work (3.9 percent from 4.1 percent), and other community, social and personal services activities (5.8 percent from 6.4 percent). Sectors that moved into contraction include: electricity, gas & water supply (-1.4 percent from 1.9 percent), and construction (-6.2 percent from 2.8 percent). Meanwhile, mining & quarrying declined further (-7.6 percent from -5.6 percent) as did "private household with employed persons" (-2.7 percent from -0.2 percent). On the other hand, faster increases were seen for wholesale and retail trade (6 percent compared to 5.9 percent in Q1), hotels and restaurants (7.5 percent compared to 5.3 percent), transportation (8.6 percent compared to 5.4 percent), financial intermediation (5.1 percent compared to 4.6 percent), real estate (4.1 percent compared to 4 percent) and education (0.4 percent compared to 0.2 percent). 

For 2017, Thailand's economic planning agency (NESDB) revised its growth forecasts higher to between 3.5 to 4.0 percent, compared to the 3.3 to 3.8 percent range it forecast previously. Exports in the year are projected to rise 5.7 percent, compared to a 3.6 percent increase in its previous forecast.

In 2016, the economy grew by 3.2 percent, faster than an upwardly revised 2.9 percent growth in 2015.

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted basis, the economy advanced 1.3 percent in Q2 of 2017, the same as in the prior quarter. It was the fastest quarterly growth since the December quarter 2012.




Monday August 21 2017
Thailand Economic Growth Stable at 1.3% QoQ
NESDB | Charles | charles@tradingeconomics.com

The Thailand economy grew by 1.3 percent quarter-on-quarter in the second quarter of 2017, the same as in the prior quarter and above market estimates of a 1 percent growth. Quarterly growth remained at its fastest since the December quarter 2012, mainly supported by the agricultural and major service sectors and a recovery in manufacturing.

In the June quarter, private consumption expanded 1.1 percent, slower than a 1.3 percent increase in the March quarter. Meanwhile, government spending contracted further (-0.9 percent from -0.4 percent in Q1). Gross fixed capital formation moved into contraction (-2.8 percent from 0.3 percent). Exports of goods and services moderated (1.2 percent from 3.8 percent) and imports of goods and services went up more (2.6 percent from 1.1 percent).

On the production side, all sectors rose: the agriculture sector grew the most at 9.5 percent (from 3.5 percent in Q1), while manufacturing (+0.7 percent from -0.7 percent) and financial intermediation (1.9 percent from -0.5 percent) rebounded while wholesale and retail trade moderated (1.1 percent from 1.4 percent).

Year-on-year, the country's GDP expanded 3.7 percent from a year earlier in the June quarter 2017, compared to a 3.3 percent growth in the first quarter 2017 and above market expectations of a 3.2 percent expansion. It was the strongest expansion in 4 years.




Wednesday August 16 2017
Thailand Holds Key Rate Steady at 1.5%
Bank of Thailand l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The Bank of Thailand left its benchmark policy rate steady at 1.5 percent on August 16th 2017, in line with market expectations. Policymakers said the growth outlook improved due to a a recovery in exports while the domestic demand expansion was not yet sufficiently broad-based and inflation is expected to rise at a slightly slower pace than previously estimated.

Statement by the Bank of Thailand:

In deliberating their policy decision, the Committee assessed that Thailand’s growth outlook improved further on the back of the expansion in merchandise and services exports. Meanwhile, domestic demand continued to expand at a gradual pace, although it was not sufficiently broad-based. Headline inflation gradually rose at a slightly slower pace than previously expected mainly because of supply-side factors, especially fresh food prices. Overall financial conditions remained accommodative and conducive to economic growth.

Hence, the Committee decided to keep the policy rate unchanged at this meeting. Thailand’s economic growth gained further traction on account of stronger growth in merchandise exports across various product categories and destinations, continued expansion in tourism, and higher agricultural output. Meanwhile, private consumption continued to expand at a gradual pace. Private investment was projected to expand slowly as construction investment moderated. Public investment growth was softer than previously expected. The improved growth outlook was still subject to external risks, such as trading partners’ growth outlook, uncertainties pertaining to US economic and foreign trade policies, and geopolitical risks.

Headline inflation increased at a slightly slower pace than the previous assessment due primarily to supply-side factors. In particular, fresh food prices declined as a result of this year’s higher agricultural output thanks to favorable weather conditions and last year’s base effects following the drought. Meanwhile, demand-pull inflationary pressures remained low. Nevertheless, headline inflation was projected to slowly rise in the latter half of the year from the gradual dissipation of supply-side pressures and the recovery in domestic demand. The public’s inflation expectations remained close to the midpoint of the target.

Overall financial conditions remained accommodative and conducive to economic growth with ample liquidity in the financial system. Government bond yields and real interest rates remained low, with short-term bond yields held down by decreased issuances of shortterm BOT bonds and treasury bills. Meanwhile, business financing through credit and capital markets continued to expand. With regard to exchange rates movements over the recent period, the baht appreciated due to decreased investor confidence in the US dollar coupled with Thailand’s stronger external position. However, the Committee noted that the stronger appreciation of the baht relative to those of regional currencies in some periods might affect business adjustments and thus would continue to closely monitor developments in the foreign exchange market.

The Committee viewed that financial stability remained sound with sufficient cushion against economic and financial volatilities on both domestic and external fronts. However, there remained pockets of risks that warranted close monitoring, particularly the search-for yield behavior in the prolonged low interest rate environment that might lead to underpricing of risks, and the deterioration in debt serviceability of small-and-medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

Looking ahead, Thailand’s growth outlook improved further on the back of external demand, with the recovery of domestic demand to be monitored. Hence, the Committee viewed that monetary policy should remain accommodative, and would stand ready to utilize available policy tools to sustain economic growth while also ensuring financial stability.




Wednesday July 05 2017
Thailand Leaves Monetary Policy Unchanged In July
Bank of Thailand | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

The Bank of Thailand left its benchmark policy rate steady at 1.5 percent on July 5th 2017, in line with market expectations. Policymakers said the growth outlook improved due to a a recovery in exports while the domestic demand expansion was not yet sufficiently broad-based and inflation is expected to slow further.

Statement by the Bank of Thailand:

In deliberating their policy decision, the Committee assessed that Thailand’s growth outlook improved further due to a better export outlook while domestic demand continued to expand at a gradual pace and not yet sufficiently broad-based. Headline inflation softened and might fall below the lower bound of the target in some periods mainly due to supply-side factors. Nevertheless, headline inflation was projected to rise in the latter half of this year. Meanwhile, overall financial conditions remained accommodative and conducive to economic growth. Hence, the Committee decided to keep the policy rate unchanged at this meeting.

Further improvements in the growth outlook were attributed to a more broad-based expansion in merchandise exports across various product categories and export  destinations, and also driven by the swift recovery in tourism. Private consumption continued to expand on the back of improvements in farm income. Nevertheless, non-farm income did not gain much from the export recovery, and thus overall purchasing power had yet to fully recover. Public expenditure remained an important growth driver. Meanwhile, private investment was projected to slowly pick up. However, the improved growth outlook was still subject to external risks. These included sustainability of trading partners’ growth, uncertainties pertaining to US economic and foreign trade policies, monetary policy directions of major advanced economies, China’s economic structural reforms, and geopolitical risks.

Furthermore, the Committee would also closely monitor the impacts of tighter regulations on immigrant labor that were recently announced. Headline inflation softened mainly due to supply-side factors especially lower fresh food prices thatresulted from this year’s higher agricultural output and last year’s base effects following the drought, as well as the decline in global oil prices. Meanwhile, demand-pull inflationary pressures remained low. Nevertheless, headline inflation was projected to slowly rise in the latter half of the year, supported by supply-side factors and recovery of domestic demand. The public’s medium-term inflation expectations remained close to the midpoint of the target.

Overall financial conditions remained accommodative and conducive to economic growth with ample liquidity in the financial system. Government bond yields and real interest rates remained low. Meanwhile, business financing through both credit and capital markets continued to expand. With regard to exchange rates, movements in the baht over the recent period were in line with regional currencies, and the Committee would continue to monitor short-term capital flows going forward.

The Committee viewed that financial stability remained sound with sufficient cushion against economic and financial volatilities on both domestic and external fronts. However, there remained pockets of risks that warranted close monitoring such as the deterioration in debt serviceability of small-and-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) which in part reflected competitiveness issues. Moreover, the search-for-yield behavior in the prolonged low interest rate environment continued to warrant monitoring as it could lead to underpricing of risks.

Looking ahead, Thailand’s growth outlook improved further on the back of external demand, while domestic demand expansion was not yet sufficiently broad-based. Hence, the Committee viewed that monetary policy should remain accommodative, and would stand ready to utilize available policy tools to sustain economic growth while also ensuring financial stability.


Wednesday May 24 2017
Thailand Holds Key Interest Rate At 1.5%
Bnak of Thailand | Joana Ferreira | joana.ferreira@tradingeconomics.com

The Bank of Thailand held its benchmark interest rate at 1.5 percent on May 24th, as widely expected. Policymakers said that the Thai economy’s growth outlook improved further despite uncertainties on the external front and that demand-pull inflationary pressures were low, while overall financial conditions remained accommodative and conducive to economic expansion.

Statement by the Bank of Thailand:

In deliberating their policy decision, the Committee assessed that the Thai economy’s growth outlook improved further despite facing risks especially on the external front. Headline inflation softened and might fall below the target in some periods mainly due to supply side factors. Nevertheless, it was projected to rise during the latter half of the year. Meanwhile, overall financing conditions remained accommodative and conducive to economic growth. Hence, the Committee decided to keep the policy rate unchanged at this meeting.

Further improvement in the growth outlook was attributed to the continued recovery in merchandise exports as Thailand’s trading partner economies gained momentum. In addition, private consumption picked up somewhat supported by improved farm income and consumer confidence. Tourism continued to recover as expected, and public expenditure remained an important growth driver. Meanwhile, private investment was projected to slowly recover. However, the improved growth outlook was still subjected to risks that warranted close monitoring. These included US economic and foreign trade policies, China’s economic structural reforms, and geopolitical risks.

Headline inflation turned out softer than expected on account of lower fresh food prices due to this year’s higher agricultural output and last year’s base effects following the drought. Meanwhile, demand-pull inflationary pressure remained low. Nevertheless, headline inflation was expected to gradually rise in the latter half of the year, and the public’s medium-term inflation remained close to the midpoint of the target.

Overall financial conditions remained accommodative and conducive to economic growth with ample liquidity in the financial system and low real interest rates. Meanwhile, business financing through both credit and capital markets continued to expand. With regard to exchange rates, movements in the baht over the recent period were in line with regional currencies.

The Committee viewed that financial stability remained sound with sufficient cushion against economic and financial volatilities on both domestic and external fronts. However, there remained pockets of risks that warranted close monitoring such as the deterioration in debt serviceability of small-and-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) which in part reflected competitiveness issues. Moreover, the search-for-yield behavior in the prolonged low interest rate environment continued to warrant monitoring as it could lead to underpricing of risks.

Looking ahead, the Thai economy’s growth outlook improved further despite uncertainties on the external front. Meanwhile, demand-pull inflationary pressures remained low. Thus, the Committee viewed that monetary policy should remain accommodative, and would stand ready to utilize available policy tools to sustain economic growth while also ensuring financial stability.


Monday May 15 2017
Thailand Economy Grows1.3% QoQ, Fastest In Over 4 Years
NESDB | Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The Thailand economy advanced 1.3 percent quarter-on-quarter in the first quarter of 2017, much stronger than an upwardly revised 0.5 percent expansion in the prior quarter and slightly above market estimates of a 1.2 percent growth. It was the fastest quarterly growth since the December quarter 2012, mainly supported by private consumption and exports.

In the March quarter, private consumption expanded 1.3 percent, faster than a 0.5 percent increase in the December quarter. Meanwhile, government spending contracted 0.2 percent, after growing 10.6 percent in the previous three months. Gross fixed capital formation went up 0.5 percent, after registering a 7.0 percent growth in the previous quarter. Exports of goods and services rose 3.8 percent, compared to a 0.6 percent rise in the previous three months. Imports of goods and services also increased by 0.8 percent, following a 3.8 percent rise in the prior quarter.

On the production side, agriculture sector grew 4.6 percent (from 1.8 percent in Q4), followed by wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor (1.4 percent from 2.3 percent). In contrast, manufacturing sector declined by 1 percent (from 0.7 percent). Financial intermediation also contracted 0.5 percent (from 2.7 percent).

Year-on-year, the country's GDP expanded 3.3 percent from a year earlier in the March quarter 2017, compared to a 3.0 percent growth in the fourth quarter 2016 and slightly above market expectations of a 3.2 percent expansion. It was the strongest expansion in three quarters.


Monday May 15 2017
Thailand GDP Growth Strongest In 3 Quarters In Q1
NESDB | Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Thailand’s GDP expanded 3.3 percent from a year earlier in the March quarter of 2017, compared to a 3.0 percent growth in the fourth quarter 2016 and slightly above market expectations of a 3.2 percent expansion. It was the strongest growth since the June quarter last year, as a faster rise in private consumption and exports and a further increase in investment offset a sharp slowdown in government spending.

In the three months to March, private consumption rose 3.2 percent, faster than a 2.5 percent increase in the prior quarter. The rise was partly a result of a strong growth of farming income and a continual rise of non-farming income as well as better consumer confidence. The expansion was mainly boosted by an increase in spending on non-durable goods and durable goods, especially motor vehicle and furniture items. However, expenditure on semi-durable goods and net services decelerated. 

Government spending edged up 0.2 percent, slowing from a 1.8 percent rise in the December quarter. The slowdown was in tandem with a decline in the 2017 fiscal year current budget disbursement in the quarter.

Gross fixed capital formation went up by 1.7 percent, compared to a 1.8 percent growth in the final quarter 2016. Public investment increased by 9.7 percent, following a 8.6 percent in Q4. On the contrary, private investment fell 1.1 percent, due to declines in construction, and machinery and equipment. 

Exports of goods and services grew by 2.7 percent, accelerating from a 1.1 percent increase in the fourth quarter. Imports of goods and services rose 6.0 percent (3.4 percent in Q4).

On the production side, agriculture sector rose 7.7 percent, much faster than a 3.0 percent expansion in the December quarter. The rise was supported by agriculture, hunting and forestry (8.5 percent from 2.7 percent in Q4) and fishing (0.3 percent from 5.4 percent). Non-agricultural sector expanded by 2.9 percent, compared to a 3.2 percent increase previously. Growth in the sector eased for: manufacturing (1.2 percent from 2.2 percent in Q4), construction (2.8 percent from 6.1 percent), financial intermediation (4.4 percent from 6.7 percent), health and social work (4.1 percent from 4.3 percent) and other community, social and personal services activities (5.6 percent from 7.1 percent). Growth rose at a faster pace for: wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor (5.9 percent from 5.6 percent), hotels and restaurants (5.3 percent from 4.9 percent); transport, storage and communication (5.9 percent from 5.2 percent) and education (0.2 percent from -0.7 percent). In contrast, a decline was seen for: mining and quarrying (-9.3 percent from -4.8 percent) and private households with employed persons (-0.2 percent from -2.4 percent). 

For 2017, the Thailand's economic planning agency (NESDB) expected Southeast Asia's second-biggest economy to grow between 3.3 to 3.8 percent, compared to the 3.0 to 4.0 percent range it  forecast previously. Exports in the year are projected to rise 3.6 percent, compared to a 2.9 percent increase in an earlier projection. 

In 2016, the economy grew by 3.2 percent, faster than an upwardly revised 2.9 percent growth in 2015.

On a quarter-on-quarter seasonally adjusted basis, the economy advanced 1.3 percent in the first three months of 2017, much stronger than an upwardly revised 0.5 percent expansion in the prior quarter. It was the fastest quarterly growth since the December quarter 2012


Wednesday March 29 2017
Thailand Holds Key Rate Steady At 1.5%
Bnak of Thailand | Joana Taborda | joana.taborda@tradingeconomics.com

The Bank of Thailand unanimously left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 1.5 percent at its March 2017 meeting, as widely expected. Policymakers said growth outlook improved mainly due to a recovery in exports while inflation is expected to gradually rise. However, the economy still faces external risks. The central bank also revised its 2017 GDP growth forecasts to 3.4 percent from 3.2 percent. Inflation is expected to be slightly lower at 1.2 percent from 1.5 percent in the December projections. In 2018, GDP growth is seen at 3.6 percent and inflation at 1.9 percent.

Statement by the Bank of Thailand:

In deliberating their policy decision, the Committee assessed that Thailand’s growth outlook improved and that the economy would expand at a faster pace than the previous assessment. Meanwhile, headline inflation was expected to gradually rise. Nonetheless, the Thai economy still faced many risks, particularly on the external front. Hence, the Committee decided to keep the policy rate on hold at this meeting in order to maintain accommodative financial conditions which would facilitate the continuation of economic growth. 

The overall growth outlook improved on the back of a clearer recovery in merchandise exports. Meanwhile, tourism continued to recover, and public expenditure remained an important growth driver. Private consumption and investment, however, continued to recover at a gradual pace. Additionally, the improved growth outlook was still subject to risks that warranted close monitoring. These included the outturns of the US economic and foreign trade policies, financial stability concerns in China, political developments in Europe, and problems faced by the European banking sector.

Headline inflation was expected to gradually rise, although demand-pull inflationary pressures remained low. Meanwhile, the public’s medium-term inflation expectations remained close to the target. Nevertheless, headline inflation might fluctuate in the nearterm due to base effects, and would face increased downside risks from developments in global oil prices. Core inflation slowed down recently, in part due to the increase in excise tax last year, but was expected to gradually increase.

Overall financial conditions remained accommodative and conducive to economic growth with ample liquidity in the financial system and low real interest rates. However, the baht appreciated somewhat against major trading partners’ currencies over the recent period which might not be as beneficial to the economy as it could. Under the Committee’s view, exchange rates might experience higher volatility in the period ahead due to uncertainties on the external front.

The Committee viewed that financial stability remained sound with sufficient cushion against economic and financial volatilities on both domestic and external fronts. However, there remained pockets of risks that warranted close monitoring such as the deterioration in loan quality of some business sectors, and the search-for-yield behavior in the prolonged low interest rate environment which might lead to the underpricing of risks. 

Looking ahead, the Thai economic recovery continued to gain traction but considerable uncertainties remained, particularly those pertaining to the global economic recovery and to the economic and monetary policy directions of major advanced economies. Meanwhile, demand-pull inflationary pressures remained low. Thus, the Committee viewed that monetary policy should remain accommodative, and would stand ready to utilize an appropriate mix of available policy tools in order to ensure that monetary conditions are conducive to the continuation of economic growth, while ensuring financial stability.


Monday February 20 2017
Thailand Economy Grows 0.4% QoQ In Q4, Below Forecast
NESDB l Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

The Thailand economy grew by 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter 2016, the same pace as a downwardly revised figure in the previous three months but below market estimates of a 0.6 percent growth. The GDP growth rate remained at its weakest level since the March quarter 2014, mainly driven by a slowdown in exports while private consumption, government spending and investment rebounded.

In the December quarter, private consumption expanded 0.4 percent, rebounding from a 0.1 percent decline in the third quarter. Government spending also rose 10.2 percent, following a 5.8 percent contraction in the preceding quarter. Gross fixed capital formation went up 6.8 percent, after registering a 2.9 percent decline in the previous quarter. Exports of goods and services rose 0.1 percent, compared to a 0.4 percent rise in the previous three months. Imports of goods and services also increased by 3.6 percent, following a 1.2 percent rise  in the prior quarter.

On the production side, manufacturing grew by 5.9 percent (from 0.4 percent in Q3), followed by financial intermediation (2.6 percent from 0.8 percent); wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor rose (2.4 percent from 1.1 percent) and agriculture (1.4 percent from -1.8 percent).

Year-on-year, the country's GDP expanded expanded 3.0 percent from a year earlier in the December quarter of 2016, compared to a 3.2 percent growth in the third quarter and in line with market expectations. It was the slowest expansion since the December quarter 2015.


Monday February 20 2017
Thailand GDP Growth Slowest In A Year In Q4
NESDB | Rida Husna | rida@tradingeconomics.com

Thailand’s GDP expanded 3.0 percent from a year earlier in the December quarter of 2016, compared to a 3.2 percent growth in the third quarter and in line with market expectations. It was the slowest expansion since the fourth quarter 2015, as a rebound in government spending and a faster rise in investment were unable to offset a slowdown in private consumption and exports.

In the three months to December, private consumption grew by 2.5 percent, compared to a 3.0 percent increase in the preceding quarter. The slowdown was mainly attributed to lower growth of spending on non-durable goods and a fall in spending on durable goods while spending on semidurable goods and net services expenditure increased.

Government spending rose 1.5 percent, rebounding from a 5.2 percent fall in the previous quarter, contributed by a 2.8 percent rise in social transfers in kind in form of goods and services, a 0.1 percent increase in compensation of employees, a 2.3 percent rise in purchases of goods and services and 0.8 percent growth in consumption of fixed capital. 

Gross fixed capital formation advanced by 1.8 percent, faster than a 1.0 percent growth in the September quarter. Public investment rose 8.6 percent (from 5.8 percent in the previous three months, as a result of a 6.8 percent expansion of government and a 12.3 percent rise in state enterprise investment). Private investment declined by 0.4 percent (from -0.8 percent drop, due to a 0.4 percent fall in private machine investment and a 0.5 percent decline in private construction investment).

Exports of goods and services grew by 1.1 percent, slowing from a 1.4 percent increase in the third quarter. Imports of goods and services rose 3.4 percent (from -1.1 percent in Q3).

On the production side, the non-agricultural sector expanded by 3.1 percent, slowing slightly from a 3.2 percent increase in the September quarter. Agriculture sector also grew by 3.2 percent, following a 0.9 percent rise in the previous quarter, contributed mainly by crops production, particularly, major rice, oil palm, and vegetable. Growth in non-agriculture sector eased for: hotels and restaurants (4.8 percent from 13.5 percent, due to lower number of foreign tourist); transport, storage and communication (5.1 percent from 6.5 percent) and electricity, gas and water supply (1.8 percent from 4.9 percent). Meanwhile, growth was faster for: manufacturing (2.1 percent from 1.6 percent), construction (6.1 percent from 5.2 percent); wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor (5.6 percent from 5.2 percent), financial intermediation (6.7 percent from 5.8 percent); real estate services (1.8 percent from 1.1 percent); public administration and defence (0.4 percent from -1.8 percent), health and social work (4.1 percent from 0.9 percent) and other community, social and personal service (6.7 percent from 11.4 percent). In contrast, a decline was seen for: mining and quarrying (-5.6 percent from -0.9 percent), education (-0.6 percent from -2.4 percent) and private households with employed persons (-2.4 percent from 1.6 percent). 

Considering full 2016, the economy advanced 3.2 percent, faster than an upwardly revised 2.9 percent growth in 2015, with exports growing for the first time in four years.

For 2017, the Thailand's economic planning agency (NESDB) expected Southeast Asia's second-biggest economy to grow between 3.0 to 4.0 percent, the same range as it forecast previously. Exports in the year are projected to rise 2.9 percent, compared to a 2.4 percent increase in an earlier projection. 

On a quarter-over-quarter seasonally adjusted basis, the economy grew by 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter 2016, the same pace as a downwardly revised figure in the previous three months and missing estimates of a 0.6 percent growth. The GDP remained  the weakest since the second quarter of 2015.