Thailand’s economic growth moderated from a near five-year high in the second quarter, largely reflecting a deceleration in tourism but the government maintained its growth outlook.
Gross domestic product expanded 4.6 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, slower than the revised 4.9 percent growth seen a quarter ago, the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board reported Monday.
On a quarterly basis, GDP advanced 1 percent, which was much slower than the 2.1 percent increase logged in the first quarter.
For the first half of 2018, the economy expanded 4.8 percent. The agency maintained its growth forecast for 2018 at 4.2 percent-4.7 percent.
Krystal Tan, an economist at Capital Economics, expects growth to slow gradually over the coming quarters, due mainly to weaker export demand.
That said, growth should still remain robust by the standards of recent years. Infrastructure spending will be a key driver of the economy, Tan added.
For production, an expansion was sourced from an acceleration of agricultural production, especially from main crops which showed favorable growth. Farm output surged 10.4 percent.
Meanwhile, the non-agricultural sector expanded at slower pace of 4.1 percent, mainly attributed to a slowdown of both production and tourist related service sectors in response to a deceleration of inbound tourists.
The expenditure-side breakdown of GDP showed that private consumption advanced at a faster rate of 4.5 percent due to the upsurge consumption of durable goods.
However, growth in government spending eased to 1.4 percent from 1.9 percent. Driven by public and private investment, gross fixed capital formation advanced 3.6 percent.
For the external sector, exports and imports of goods and services rose 6.4 percent and 7.5 percent, respectively, compared to 6.0 percent and 8.7 percent in the first quarter.
The headline inflation is expected to be in the range of 0.9 – 1.4 percent and the current account to register a surplus of 8.4 percent of GDP.