ADB forecasts 3.5% growth for Thailand this year

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) forecasts Thailand's economic growth at 3.5% this year, attributing its export growth as main reason.

ADB’s senior economist Laksamon Attapich said Thailand’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow 3.5% this year and 3.6% in 2018, driven mainly by its exports which are likely to expand between 3% and 4% next year.

However she warned that rising tension in the Korean Peninsula and the U.S. trade policies needed to be kept under close monitoring.

Particularly she said any trade barriers on China will affect Thailand’s exports of electrical appliances, electronic components and machinery why could result in lower growth than targets.

The economist stated further that domestic consumption has been expanding steadily thanks to increasing income in the agricultural sector amid higher crop prices.

Meanwhile, public investments are vital to drive the economy, so the government should speed up its budget disbursement to invest in infrastructure projects. The move will boost confidence and private investment accordingly, she noted.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has earlier adjusted  its forecast for this year’s economic  growth to 3% from 3.3% and projected the Thai economy to grow 3.3% next year. The World Bank forecast 3.2% growth for Thailand.