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Director of the BoT’s Office of Macroeconomics Songtham Pinto said the 4.8% growth forecast this year would be driven largely by domestic spending. The central bank believes the recent flooding situation will not affect the country’s long-term production capacity since the production sector will soon resume normal operation in these 1-6 months.
Service in the private sector and tourism, which are expected to receive a short-term blow from the flooding, will rebound in 1-2 months due to the government’s stimulus packages. Private investment is expected to rise following long repairs of buildings and machineries damaged by the floods.
Government spending on many projects, such as the rice mortgage scheme and the minimum wage hike, will continue to be the main growth stimulus this year, according to the BoT.
In 2011, Thailand saw a mere 1.8% economic expansion after the twin disasters in Japan and severe flooding in many provinces across the Kingdom. The inundation also caused shrinkage of 48% in the production sector, especially in electronics, automobiles and electrical appliances, while exports dropped for the first time since the global credit crunch.
Despite this year’s positive outlook, the central bank has suggested a close monitoring of the situations in major economies, especially the U.S. and the Eurozone, as well as the Thai government’s clarity on future flood prevention.