Thailandís Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) on Thursday
projected the countryís economy in the second half of this year will grow by
five percent, driven by rising domestic consumption, investment and exports.
FPO Director Naris Chaiyasoot said the Thai economy in
the second quarter, and in June, continued to expand, raising the Gross
Domestic product (GDP) by 3.6 percent, year-on-year.
A major factor contributing to the growing GDP was a
sharp increase of tourist arrivals of 4.4 million, a 50.1 percent increase
compared to the corresponding period last year in which the arrivals were
quite low due to political disturbances between March and May, r Naris said.
The FPO chief said that commercial banks saw their
credits soaring by 14 percent, while the agricultural sector expanded at a
slower pace by 6 percent, compared to the first quarter.
The GDP in the second half of the year is likely to rise
by five percent, driven by domestic consumption stimulated by the
governmentís policy, domestic investment and exports, Naris said. The
projected GDP will be as earlier targeted at a range of 4-5 percent.
The June economy accelerated, especially exports, rising
by 16.8 percent year-on-year to US$21 billion, Naris said. However, the Thai
economy is not overheated as its capacity utilization remains under 60
percent and it can be further utilized without causing inflationary
Regarding the Bt300 daily wage planned rise by the Pheu
Thai Party, Naris said the FPO estimated that the wage will be raised by 40
percent if the new government adjusts the current daily minimum wage at
Bt215 to Bt300 as promised. Some 5.4 million workers, accounting for 8.5
percent of the countryís population, are entitled to the new wage.
With the wage hike policy, consumption will likely grow
by two percent, Naris explained. He said it will not greatly accelerate
inflation and investment, as the FPO believes the new government will offer
relief measures for the private sector such as a corporate tax cut from 30
percent to 23 percent to help offset rising production costs.
Meanwhile, the Bank of Thailand (BoT) on Thursday
reported that unemployment fell to its lowest level in June at 0.5 percent,
down from 0.6 percent in April and 0.7 percent in March.
Songtum Pinto, senior director of BoT Office of
Macroeconomics, said a shortage of labor is reported, particularly in the
electronics industry, thanks to the growing economy. (MCOT)