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Thai manufactured goods exports growth likely to have sustained strong pace in March, says DBS

Thai manufactured goods exports in the Jan-Feb 2017 period rose 3.9 percent year-on-year and are likely to have sustained the pace in March, according to a DBS research report. The current rate of pace appears to be strong as compared to the -2.2 percent average seen in the past three years. For the Thai economy, it is important to have stronger export growth of manufactured goods as ample of capacity remains in the manufacturing sector. The sector has contributed just 10 percent of GDP growth seen in the past three years.

The sharp rise in export growth seen this year is mainly due to stronger demand. Also, the Bank of Thailand has also helped by resisting excessive currency strength as it continues to talk down the baht to make exports competitive, noted DBS.

But the terms of trade index has dropped since the beginning of 2016 in spite of the baht holding stable on real effective exchange rate basis. Moreover, the data for exports from the region have also been relatively solid in the first quarter of 2017. Exports are expected to grow a decent 6.6 percent in 2017, stated DBS. As exports of services continue to be robust, the overall net exports of goods and services might reach THB 1 billion for the first time ever. Exports’ contribution to the Thai GDP growth is expected to increase that explains the central bank’s recent revision of the GDP growth forecast to the upside.

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