Healthy growth expected for Thai economy in 2012: experts

January 6, 2012 11:02 pm 

BANGKOK, Jan. 6 — The Kasikorn Research Center (KResearch) on Friday released its report on economic outlook of 2012, saying that the Thai economy, seriously affected by flooding last year, will likely return to normalcy in 2012 with healthier growth.

The KResearch projects gross domestic product (GDP) growth for 2012 of between 3.5 percent and 4.8 percent.

It expects the Thai economy to expand by about one percent in the first quarter of the year, after contracting as much as minus 3.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011.

"Although this economic forecast has taken into account risks toward the global economy due to the Eurozone debt crisis, our economic momentum may drop below the lower range of that forecast if the world's economic situation gets worse."

The flood which badly hit the country since late July and affected about 13.6 million people, affected the Thai economy in the last quarter of 2011 massively. Thai economic indicators for November 2011 reflected shrinkages with broad impacts across all sectors. The contraction was seen in industrial manufacturing, farm produce, exports, and domestic spending.

The World Bank estimated that about 45 billion U.S. dollars had been lost because of the 2011 flood crisis.

Regarding the inflation, the KResearch expects the inflation to continue through early 2012 at an average inflation rate of 3.5 percent, still relatively low compared to the average of 4.0 percent

This trend is attributed to a stabilization of goods prices after the spikes during the flooding. However, inflation in coming months may continue to be bloated by factors affecting prices to rise over-month, including steep wage increases by the private sector, the government's new energy price structure resulting in price hikes on certain fuels, rising farm produce prices and lofty global oil prices driven most recently by strained relations between Iran and the West. (PNA/Xinhua) LAP/utb

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