Thai economy continued to recover in December – central bank

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand’s economy continued to recover in December, boosted by increased tourism and domestic consumption, while exports were affected by the slowing economies of trading partners, the central bank on Tuesday.

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FILE PHOTO: Closed bars at the Ratchada Railway Night Market, in Bangkok

Economic activity was likely to improve steadily as the vital sector gained momentum, the Bank of Thailand said in a statement, adding it would monitor the global economy, costs and China’s reopening.

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Last week, the BOT raised its projections for foreign tourist arrivals to 25.5 million this year and 34 million next year, up from 22 million and 31.5 million, respectively. Thailand received a record of nearly 40 million visitors in pre-pandemic 2019.

China’s reopening is expected to further boost Thailand’s tourism, with the government predicting at least five million Chinese visitors this year, about half of the 2019 figure.

Thailand recorded a current account surplus of $1.1 billion in December, after a deficit of $0.4 billion in the previous month, the BOT said.

However, exports, a key driver of growth, dropped 12.9% year-on-year in December.

(Reporting by Orathai Sriring, Kitiphong Thaichareon and Satawasin Staporncharnchai; Editing by Ed Davies)

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