Thai 2023 GDP expands at 1.9%, slower than expected

By Thomson Reuters Feb 18, 2024 | 9:04 PM

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew 1.9% in 2023, the planning agency said on Monday, as higher tourist numbers and private consumption were undercut by falls in manufacturing and public spending.

The weaker-than-expected growth raises the case for an interest rate cut at the central bank’s next policy review on April 10, after it left the key rate steady at 2.50%, the highest in more than a decade, in a split vote. Two dissenters favoured a rate reduction.

Growth in 2024 was expected at 2.2-3.2%, lower than the 2.7%-3.7% projection provided by the agency in November.

State planning agency chief Danucha Pichayanan told a press conference that fourth quarter GDP was up 1.7% versus a 2.5% expansion forecast in a Reuters poll.

(Reporting by Orathai Sriring; Writing by Kanupriya Kapoor; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)