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Updated December 28th, 2023 at 14:59 IST

Thailand’s export growth slows, limited impact from Red Sea attacks

Thailand's central bank forecast exports would fall 1.5% this year before rising 4.3% in 2024.

Thomson Reuters
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Partly as a result of the slower growth in exports, the country recorded a current account deficit of $1.2 billion in November | Image:Unsplash
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Thailand's November exports increased less than in October leading to a current account deficit, the central bank said on Thursday, forecasting a limited impact on trade from Houthi attacks on ships in the Red Sea.

Exports, a key driver of Thai growth, rose 3.9 per cent in November from a year earlier, after October's 7 per cent increase on the year, the Bank of Thailand (BOT) said in a statement.

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The economy is expected to grow further next year, Assistant Governor Chayawadee Chai-Anant told a news conference, predicting a limited impact on exports from attacks by Yemen's Houthi militants on ships in the Red Sea, through which much of Thai exported goods transit.

The central bank forecast exports would fall 1.5 per cent this year before rising 4.3 per cent in 2024.

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Partly as a result of the slower growth in exports, the country recorded a current account deficit of $1.2 billion in November, after a surplus of $0.7 billion the previous month.

Spending by foreign tourist arrivals dropped in November from October and manufacturing decreased, the central bank said.

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Earlier on Thursday, industry data showed manufacturing output dropped 4.7 per cent in November, more than forecast, as economic growth slowed and household debt increased.

However, private consumption increased by 0.8 per cent from October and private investment rose by 1.8 per cent, the BOT said, noting domestic demand was expected to continue underpinning economic activities in December.

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Southeast Asia's second-largest economy grew by 1.5 per cent in the July-September quarter from a year earlier, the slowest pace this year and less than expected, on weak exports and government spending.

Last month, the BOT lowered its 2023 growth forecast to 2.4 per cent from 2.8 per cent. For next year, it predicts growth at 3.2 per cent, not factoring in a government plan to distribute 500 billion baht to most Thais via digital wallets to boost spending next year. The economy expanded 2.6 per cent last year.

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Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has said the economy is in "crisis" and needs further stimulus.

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Published December 28th, 2023 at 14:56 IST

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