The Bank of Thailand predicts economic growth in the third quarter, driven by increased private consumption and tourism. Foreign tourist arrivals and expenditures have risen, although private investment and public spending declined.
Positive Signs in the Thai Economy
The Thai economy showed positive signs in the third quarter of 2023, with an increase in foreign tourist arrivals from South Korea, India, the Middle East, Europe, and China. The Bank of Thailand expects improvements in economic growth, driven by increased private consumption and a recovery in the tourism sector. The manufacturing sector, particularly the automobile and petroleum industries, contributed to the growth in merchandise exports, while private investment and public spending declined.
Tourism and Exports
Thailand has welcomed 20 million foreign tourists this year, with September seeing a notable increase in arrivals, especially from South Korea and India. Tourist expenditures have also risen, although a recent incident at a Bangkok shopping mall may affect sentiment. In September 2023, activities in the tourism sector continued to increase in line with the numbers of foreign tourists, while merchandise exports, excluding gold, also increased in several categories.
Economic Stability and Inflation
On the economic stability front, private investment indicators decreased, as did private consumption indicators for non-durable goods. Public spending contracted, and inflation declined in all major categories. Overall, the Thai economy expanded due to private consumption and recovery in the service sector, but private investment decreased. The labor market conditions continued to improve, while the current account registered a surplus, mainly due to an improvement in the trade balance.