Joint Business Group Says Thailand Could Avoid Recession Despite Poor Export Forecast

Thailand’s economy could avoid technical recession this year on the support from a rebound in tourism, despite the country suffering a minor slowdown in the fourth quarter of 2022, said the joint business group on Wednesday.

The Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry, and Banking (JSCCIB) anticipated that the Thai economy will not suffer a technical recession in 2023, owing to a strong recovery in the tourism industry, which allowed the economy to recover in the first quarter of this year and put it back on track for growth.

However, due to sluggish global demand, Thai exports are likely to fall by -1% to 0%, compared to a previously estimated growth of 1% to 2%. Apart from Thailand, export rivals such as South Korea and Taiwan are also hurt by the global manufacturing slowdown.

In 2023, the Thai government predicted that the country would receive 25-30 million tourists internationally, which would improve GDP growth by 3.0%-3.5% and keep headline inflation at 2.7%-3.2%.