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Thailand total export growth likely to exceed government’s initial 3 pct target this year, says DBS
Export growth continued its pretty strong run, coming in at 8.8 percent y/y in January. Export growth averaged 6.5 percent over the past 6 months. At the current pace, total export growth for the year is likely to exceed the government’s initial target of 3 percent.
Other than higher oil prices, agricultural crop prices have also been supportive for the outlook on export growth. And it will also benefit from stronger demand in the region. Last week’s GDP report has already shown a rebound in goods export growth in 4Q16.
At 1.4 percent y/y in 4Q16, goods export growth has finally ended the stretch of negative numbers since early-2013. Stronger export growth this year will help to ease the overcapacity problem in manufacturing, which is crucial, given how the sector has been a drag in recent years.
"One can also expect a lift to nominal wage growth, which is currently hovering at circa 1-2 percent pace," DBS Group research commented in its latest research report.
Meanwhile, the trend of imports of intermediate goods in the coming months needs to be watch for a stronger indication of export growth this year.