The Thai Rice Exporters Association has revised upwardly its 2018 rice export target to 10 million tonnes. (Photo: VNA)

Bangkok (VNA) – Thailand’s economy is expected to expand 4 percent in the second quarter of 2018 driven by personal consumption, public spending and increasing exports, said the Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) under the Ministry of Finance.

The FPO unveiled that Thailand’s exports have grown for 14 consecutive months in April and forecast to rise by 10 percent in the second quarter this year.

The flow of foreign tourists to Thailand increased 9.4 percent to 3.09 million while the public debt index remained stable, standing at 41.2 percent in April, it said.

According to the FPO, the consumer confidence index in Thailand reached 67.8 points, the highest level since March 2015.

In a related move, the Thai Rice Exporters Association (TREA) has revised upwardly its 2018 rice export target to 10 million tonnes from the previous forecast of 9.5 million tonnes after the export of the grain in the first four months of this year performed better than expected.

From January through April, Thailand exported 3.31 million tonnes of rice, up 38 percent from a year earlier and outpacing other big rice exporters like India, which shipped 3.21 million tonnes; Vietnam, 1.61 million tonnes; and Pakistan, 1.28 million tonnes.

"During the first quarter of this year, Thai rice exports rose more than expected as demand in several importing countries increased. And we expect demand to support Thai exports for the whole of this year," said TREA President Charoen Laothamatas.-VNA