Thailand’s economy experienced the lowest growth in three years in 2014 due to a political turmoil and the fall in global agricultural prices, according to the National Economic and Social Development Board of Thailand.

Gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 0.7 percent in the year, below its previous forecast of 1 percent and well down from the 2.9 percent recorded in 2013.

The figure represented the lowest since 2011 when the growth rate of 0.1 percent was recorded. It was attributed to the political unrest that lasted months and led to sluggish tourism, foreign investment and export.

Thailand’s export volume dropped 0.3 percent and the country temporarily lost its position as the world’s largest rice exporter.

It also reported a decline of 1.77 million tourist arrivals from 2013.

However, there were some good signs as the fourth quarter GDP grew 2.3 percent against the same period in 2013 and 0.6 percent from the previous quarter thanks to an upturn in the non-agricultural sector, a rise in both domestic and overseas demands and greater investment.

The second largest economy in Southeast Asia, following Indonesia, expects a growth rate of 3.5 – 4.5 percent this year.-VNA