Thailand Sees Slower-than-Expected Growth in 4Q22 as Exports Weaken

Growth in Thailand’s economy slowed more than projected in the fourth quarter of 2022 due to a drop in exports and manufacturing, but a comeback in the key tourist sector should continue to underpin the recovery this year despite weaker global demand.

On Friday, the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) released figures showing that the Thai economy grew by 1.4% from October to December compared to the same period in the previous year.

That was lower than the 3.5% growth predicted in a Reuters poll, and lower than the 4.6% increase in the third quarter.

On a quarterly basis, GDP fell 1.5% in October-December, missing expectations for a 0.5% rise.

The tourism-dependent economy grew 2.6% in 2022, up from 1.5% the previous year, one of Southeast Asia’s weakest growth rates.

China’s earlier-than-anticipated reopening is expected to be a boost to the tourism sector, offsetting some of the impact of decreasing exports and bolstering the economic rebound, which has been slow to get off the ground following a dismal fourth quarter.

The NESDC lowered its earlier prediction of 3% to 4% growth for the economy this year to a range of 2.7% to 3.7% growth.