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Thailand’s first quarter growth forecast remains 4% for 2015

Thailand’s first quarter growth forecast remains 4% for 2015

BANGKOK: The country’s economic growth is expected to come in at 4% in the first quarter of 2015, driven by government megaprojects, recovering private investment and domestic consumption, pushing full-year growth to 4.5%, says Deputy Prime Minister MR Pridiyathorn Devakula.

“Government efforts in the past three months have yielded fruit and driven the economy to achieve 3% growth in this year’s final quarter as projected by the National Economic and Social Development Board,”he said yesterday about the first three months’ performance of the government led by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

The economy contracted in the previous three quarters, shrinking by 0.5% in the first quarter, 0.4% in the second and 0.6% in the third.

MR Pridiyathorn attributed growth in the fourth quarter mainly to the government’s accelerated fiscal disbursement as well as recovering domestic consumption and private investment.

These key supporting factors will play a vital role in boosting the economy to achieve 4.5% growth next year, he said.

As of last Friday, budget disbursement for the fourth quarter amounted to 730 billion baht, up by 70 billion baht year-on-year, with total disbursement in the fourth quarter expected to top 800 billion baht.

The government’s planned massive investment in megaprojects will be also be instrumental to growth in 2015.

At least 100 billion baht will be earmarked for investment in road construction excluding mass transit, double-track rail routes and air transport.

New investment promotion strategies including those promoting foreign direct investment and regional operating headquarters and tax measures for SMEs will also help to boost investment next year.

New investment promotion strategies including those promoting foreign direct investment and regional operating headquarters and tax measures for SMEs will also help to boost investment next year.