Thailand: FPO describes country’s economy as being ‘in good shape’

The Thai economy has stabilised, with inflationary pressures subsiding and public debt still below 70% of the country’s GDP, according to the Fiscal Policy Office (FPO).

The government’s fiscal and monetary status remains strong, with US$202 billion in foreign reserves as of October, the FPO said.

Pornchai Thiraveja, director-general of the FPO, said private consumption and investment in October remained firm from a month earlier.

Motorcycle sales in October dropped by 7.9% from September, but they expanded by 16.2% on a year-on-year basis.

Meanwhile, passenger car sales increased by 2.6% from the previous month but dropped by 2.4% compared with October last year.

Value-added tax collection, one of the key indicators which gauge consumer spending, also fell in October, decreasing by 5.4% from September, but saw an increase of 5.2% over the corresponding month of 2021.

Commercial vehicle sales, which reflect private investment, fell by 14.5% in October compared to the previous month, but still eked out an expansion of 1.4% from the same month of last year.

Domestic cement sales, which indicate investment in the construction sector, fell in October by 2.9% from September, and dropped by 5.7% on a year-on-year basis.

Likewise, the tax collection from property transactions in October, which reflects investment in real estate, was 7.1% below September, but it was 12% higher than the same month of last year.

According to the FPO, export values in October tallied US$21.7 billion, down 4.4% from the corresponding period of last year, after demand from Thailand’s trading partners slowed due to tighter monetary policies to curb inflation, which affected purchasing power and economic activities.

Imports, meanwhile, totalled $22.3 billion in October, down 2.2% year-on-year, resulting in a trade deficit of $596 million.

In October, 1.48 million tourists visited Thailand, a surge of 7,178% from the same month of last year, but down 11.2% from September. Most international tourists were from Malaysia, India, Laos, South Korea and Vietnam.

Meanwhile, the number of Thais travelling within the country stood at 17.7 million in October, up 286% from the same month of last year, but down 18.8% from the previous month.

“Thailand’s economic condition is considered to be in a good shape, with inflation easing to about 5.98%, while the FPO forecasts the inflation rate for the whole year to stay at 6.2%, and the public debt-to-GDP ratio to stand at 60.4% in September, which remains far below the government’s 70% ceiling,” Mr Pornchai said.

Source: https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/2448475/fpo-describes-countrys-economy-as-being-in-good-shape