Asian Development Bank will raise Thai forecast

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is preparing to raise its growth forecast for Thailand’s economy containing new and more optimistic figures, with a new projection slated for release in early December in response to the faster than expected growth in the Kingdom’s exports and economy, a senior economist at the bank said last week.

“The Thai economy is likely to grow more than the 3.6 percent that was estimated earlier by the ADB,” said Luxmon Attapich, the ADB’s senior country economist for Thailand. Luxmon said that higher than anticipated export growth was the main factor in the Bank’s decision to adjust its forecast. “I think Thailand’s exports will continue to expand next year as the global recovery is expected to continue,” he said.

Other aspects of the Thai economy have also been performing better than earlier forecasts by many analysts. Luxmon said that if government investments in the national infrastructure upgrade began flowing at a faster rate that could propel growth even higher than the soon-to-be-released ADB forecast. The ADB is involved in five major projects that are part of the upgrade and will provide a total of $1.59 billion in funding for them between 2018 and 2020.

ADB Country Director for Thailand Hideaki Iwasaki said that the Bank supports the government’s public-private partnership approach to funding the infrastructure projects. He added that the ADB is looking forward to working with the government on Thailand 4.0, the Kingdom’s 20-year national development strategy to nurture a creative and higher-technology economy, and on the evolution of the Eastern Economic Corridor, the three-province advanced development zone to showcase Thailand 4.0.

Several Thai and global institutions, such as the National Economic and Social Development Board, have already raised their projections for economic growth for this year. Last month, the Board, which is Thailand’s national planning agency and employs several independent experts, increased its growth forecast for the year to 3.9 percent.

The ADB has generally been conservative in predicting growth levels for the region’s economies, but its earlier expectations for Thailand’s growth levels have been in line with most other major agencies and institutions.

The real estate market often serves as another bellwether for economies, and the real estate market in Thailand was described as “buoyant” in the third quarter by DDproperty, an online real estate portal that launched its Property Index for Thailand last week.

“We’re cautiously optimistic about the Thai property market and believe there are opportunities for sellers, but particularly for buyers given rising supply levels and the low interest rate environment which is expected to persist for some time,” said DDproperty Country Director Kamolpat Swaengkit.