World Bank Expects Debt from Thai Digital Wallet Program to Outweigh GDP Growth

World Bank Senior Economist for Thailand Kiatipong Ariyapruchya told reporters on Wednesday at an event in Bangkok that Thailand’s interest rate levels are neutral and appropriate for the current situation of the country.

The World Bank noted that Thailand is currently facing a negative inflation due to global commodity prices, while also expecting the inflation level to return to normal.

The World Bank is expecting to cut Thailand’s GDP growth in 2024 from 3.2% due to slowing global economy and greater impact of budget delay.

Moreover, the World Bank expected the digital wallet scheme to benefit the country and increase its GDP by 1%, but such a program could also cause the debt of the country to climb by 3%.

Thailand’s economic growth in the fourth quarter of 2023 and the year as a whole poked disappointment as they poorly missed expectations, prompting the prime minister to urge the Bank of Thailand to cut rates.

Fourth quarter GDP rose 1.7%, but missed expectations from a Reuters poll that sees growth at 2.5%. Meanwhile, Thai 2023 GDP grew 1.9%, also missing expectations for 2.4% growth as well.