Thailand's GDP for 2009 contracted 2.3%: gov't NESDB

15:49, February 22, 2010      

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Thailand's gross domestic product (GDP) for 2009 contracted 2.3 percent year on year, Thailand's government think-tank National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) announced Monday.

The GDP for quarter 4 (October-December), 2009, which posed a positive growth rate of 5.8 percent year on year for the first time in 2009, helped prevent the sharp contraction of the GDP for the whole 2009, NESDB Secretary-General Ampol Kitti-ampon, reported by the National News Bureau of Thailand (NNT) under the state-owned Public Relations Department.

The quarter's GDP mirrored the Thai economy was obviously recovering, said the NESDB Secretary-General.

This also suggested that the economic recovery was faster than it was earlier expected, Ampol added.

The Thai economy has been boosted by the global economic recovery, improvement of the domestic household consumption, private investments, and exports, resulting in the falling unemployed number, said the NESDB Secretary-General.

For the whole 2010, it is projected that the country's GDP will expand from 3.5 percent to 4.5 percent, on the back of the continued improvement of the global economy, he said.

Also, the country's recovering exports and second economic stimulus packages will help shore up the domestic economy, Ampol said.

Appropriately managing the country's monetary policy will be another important factor, which will help strengthen the local economy, he said.

On March 10, the central bank -- Bank of Thailand's (BOT) Monetary Policy Committee will hold a meeting to discuss about the country's interest rate's policy, in which economic fundamental factors will be factored in.

However, Ampol said the Thai government will need to closely monitor factors, which can negatively affect the domestic recovery.

Some risky factors, which will affect the Thai economic recovery, include possibly slowdown recovery of the world economy during the second half of the year, rising inflationary pressures, drought, and Thai baht currency's appreciation, he said.

Also, the government should be able to solve the industrial problem at the eastern Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate as late as by quarter 3, 2010, warned the NESDB Secretary-General.

From late last year, several tens of industrial projects in the eastern Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate have been suspended by a court after environmentalists and villagers surrounding the eastern Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate filed charges against the government for illegally approving them by bypassing constitutional requirements.

Source: Xinhua
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