Bangkok (VNA) – Thailand’s Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) maintained the country's GDP growth forecast for 2022 at 3.5% as the domestic consumption and tourism sector are recovering.

The FPO under the Ministry of Finance has also revised its projection for the number of foreign arrivals this year to 8 million from April's prediction of 6.5 million.
Last year, the number of foreign visitors to Thailand reached 400,000, compared to nearly 40 million tourists in 2019 - the year before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to FPO Director-General Pornchai Thiraveja, factors that could have an impact on the economy are the recovery of domestic demand due to the improved COVID-19 situation, an increase in the number of foreign tourists and the impact of conflict in Ukraine.

He said that the FPO's forecast for a higher number of international visitors this year did not take into account the Chinese government's plan to allow people living in the southern region to travel abroad. This will boost Thailand's GDP further.

The office also raised its forecast for private consumption growth this year from 4.3% to 4.8%, close to the estimate of other state economic agencies. According to the FPO, Thailand's export value this year will hike from 6% to 7.7% over the same period last year, despite the impact of the Ukraine conflict. Private investment is predicted to increase from 4.5% to 5.7%.

However, the FPO projected inflation at 6.5% this year due to rising energy prices, higher than the figure of 1.2% in 2021./.