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The World Bank has cut Thailand’s growth rate projection this year to 3.8% from 3.9% compared to last year’s 4.1% GDP due to export growth slowing to 5.7% from last year’s 5.9%.

Citing the East Asia and Pacific Update report, the World Bank’s senior economist for Thailand, Mr. Kiatpong Ariyapratya, said that the Word Bank also projects that Thailand’s growth rate for next year would remain at 3.8%.

He explained that Thailand’s export growth projection for this year was adjusted down because of a global economic slowdown as a result of the simmering trade war between the United States and China, adding that growth in tourist arrivals to Thailand this year is also projected to drop slightly.

Although Thailand’s growth projection is lower than the average 4%-5% rate for the rest of ASEAN, Mr. Kiatpong said that Thailand’s economic growth trend was improving compared to the situation 2-3 years ago, especially investment in the government and private sectors and the private sector’s consumption is picking up, constituting the main engines of economic expansion, expected to grow 4.6% and 4.3% respectively.

He warned that investments by the government sector for the year 2021, as well as government procurement projects and private sector investments, might be affected if formation of the new government is further delayed.

Commenting on the government’s introduction of new economic stimulus measures, Mr. Kiatpong said Thailand is fiscally and financially strong enough to absorb the costs compared to other countries in the region because Thailand’s public debt as relates to GDP is still not high and policy rate remains at 1.75%.

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