Standard Chartered Cut Thai Economy Growth Forecast to 4.3%, Citing Global Uncertainties

Standard Chartered Bank cut its growth forecast for the Thai economy on Thursday, predicting 4.3% growth for the year compared to a 4.5% growth expected earlier. The revised forecast reflects recent worse-than-expected economic data, a grimmer global growth outlook, and potential policy implementation delays during the political transition.

Standard Chartered Bank (Thai) economist Dr. Tim Leelahaphan expected that the Thai economic recovery would hit a snag in the second quarter, but that the bank still anticipated healthy growth in the second half of the year. 

The bank lowered its growth forecast for Thailand this year, citing worse-than-expected figures, a gloomier global economic outlook, and anticipated policy enforcement delays during the political transition as main reasons.

Inflation is anticipated to be 2.1%, a decrease from the 2.7% predicted previously. Core inflation is estimated at 1.7%, down from 3.3% earlier, and the current account surplus is forecast at 3.6% of GDP, down from 4.0% previously.

However, the bank continues to be optimistic about the Thai economy’s growth prospects for the second half of 2023, thanks to the new government’s expected rollout of consumption-supportive measures and a more visible tourism revival.The bank also notes an uptick in tourism as a result of the return of Chinese tour groups.

Standard Chartered predicts that the Bank of Thailand will go ahead with its final 25 basis point rate hike at the upcoming meeting on May 31.