Official Confident Post-Coup Economy Will Net 2.6% Growth

Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, chairman of the junta's National Council for Peace and Order.

BANGKOK — A top government official has disputed the central bank of Thailand's estimation of the country's post-coup economic trajectory, arguing that the projection is too low.

"The Ministry of Finance expects 2-3% growth in GDP this year," said Somchai Satjapong, director of the Fiscal Policy Office (FPO). "Which is close to FPO's estimation of 2.6% growth."

The Bank of Thailand (BoT) previously announced that Thailand would only experience 1.5% increase in GDP, fueling fears that the military coup on 22 May may worsen the country's economy, which has already suffered from months of political turmoil.

Rung Mallikamas, a spokesperson of the BoT, said the Bank originally predicted a GDP growth of 2.7%  but later decided to revise it. 

Mr. Somchai insisted that the BoT got it wrong. "The estimation is too low … we believe that the economy will improve in the latter half of this year."

He explained that consumer confidence has been growing steadily while exports, consumption, and spending have seen a significant boost in recent weeks. According to Mr. Somchai, the economic "roadmap" announced by the junta's National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) will also restore foreign investors' confidence in Thailand. 

"I can guarantee that we won't see a growth that is less than 2% this year," Mr. Somchai said. 

 

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