Vegetable sellers at a market in Bangkok (Photo: Reuters)

Hanoi (VNA) – Thailand’s economy grew by 3.2 percent in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the same period last year thanks to government spending and tourism, the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) said.

The NESDB said on May 16 that such a growth outpaced economists’ forecasts and was the fastest in the last three years.

It is higher than the 2.8 percent median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 21 analysts. Thailand posted an economic growth of 2.8 percent in 2015.

In a bid to spur domestic activity, the Thai administration has ramped up investment and launched stimulus measures.

Government investment rose 12.4 percent while private investment grew 2.1 percent year on year during the three-month period through to March.

Tourism, accounting for 10 percent of GDP, has been a rare bright spot as the number of tourists jumped 15.5 percent in Q1 and could reach a record 33 million visitors this year.

The NESDB revised its 2016 GDP growth forecast to 3.0-3.5 percent, from 2.8-3.8 percent.

Tourism and fiscal spending will underpin growth this year, while expected mid-year rains should ease drought, NESDB head Porametee Vimolsiri said.-VNA