Thailand’s 2Q23 GDP Grows Slower-Than-Expected amid Soft Global Demand

Thailand’s economy grew smaller than expected in the second quarter of this year amid weaker exports and slowdown in global demand, despite the help from the recovering tourism sector.

According to the data released by the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) on Monday, Thailand’s gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 1.8% in the April-June period from a year earlier, which was below the 3.1% growth forecast in a Reuters poll.

Exports, which is a key driver of growth for the second-largest economy in Southeast Asia, have contracted since October 2022, due to soft global demand, especially from China, who is Thailand’s major trading partner.

NESDC maintained a forecast of 28 million foreign tourist arrivals this year, but revised its projection on exports data to drop 1.8% in 2023, compared to an earlier forecast for a 1.6% decrease.

Headline inflation is now seen at 1.7-2.2% in 2023, compared to 2.5-3.5% seen in May. Thailand’s inflation in July only grew 0.38%.