Illustrative photo (Photo: moneycontrol.com)

Bangkok (VNA) – With a debt mountain of 12.17 trillion THB (372 billion USD), or 77.6 percent of the national GDP at the end of March, Thai households are among the biggest borrowers in Asia, and they find it difficult to keep up with payments.

Household debts in the country are said to increase as the Thai central bank has signalled it is likely to follow other central banks around the world to raise interest rates from near-record lows.

Private consumption is a critical element driving the Thai economy, accounting for half of its 490 billion USD GDP.

Consumers continued to borrow at a robust pace in the second quarter, when overall consumer debt rose 8 percent from a year earlier, including a 12.4 jump in car loans.

The National Economic and Social Development Board said that the economy slowed down in the second quarter of the year. However, the board still kept its 2018 growth forecast unchanged in a range between 4.2 percent and 4.7 percent.-VNA