Thai economy grew by 2.8 percent in the first quarter of this year (Photo: The Straits Times)

Bangkok (NNT/VNA) - The fluctuating global economy and the trade war between China and the US which has reduced the export sector has caused the Thai economy in the first quarter of this year to grow at a slower pace, at 2.8 percent compared to 3.6 percent in the last quarter of 2018.

For 2019, the Office of the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB) has revised its economic forecast to 3.3-3.8 percent.

NESDB Secretary General Thossaphorn Sirisamphan said the main factors that caused the Thai economy to slow down include the fluctuating global economy and the trade war between China and the United States. The value of the export sector in the first quarter decreased by 3.6 percent, especially the value of agricultural products exports which decreased by two percent from 6.5 percent in the previous quarter. As a result, the economy in the first quarter grew only by 2.8 percent.

The NESDB has, therefore, revised its economic forecast to 3.3-3.8 percent from 3.5-4.5 percent with exports seen up 2.2 percent from 4.1 percent. This estimated number must be based on the improved export sector in the second half of the year. The tourism sector must earn 2.21 million baht from foreign tourists. The clarity of the political situation will result in more investments in government projects and economic stimulus policies.

As for the new government’s economic policy, the NESDB opined that it should focus on reducing the impact on the export sector and stimulating the tourism sector to compensate for the lost income instead of fully implementing short-term economic stimulus policy because it may cause problems to the future fiscal burden if the global economy does not recover next year. Therefore, it is necessary to proceed carefully.-NNT/VNA