BANGKOK — A state economic agency has adjusted its prediction of Thailand’s GDP growth this year to a mere one per cent, the lowest in three years, citing domestic and global economic malaise.
The National Economics and Social Development Board (NESDB) announced in a press conference Monday that the Thai economy will only expand by one per cent this year, down from the previous forecast of two per cent, and the slowest pace among most countries in the region this year.
NESDB secretary-general Arkhom Termpittayaphaisith explained that the decreased growth is a result of domestic and international factors, such as the economic slowdown in the United States, China, Japan, and European countries – all of which are major trade partners with the Kingdom.
Thailand's agriculture and tourism sectors are also still struggling to recover, while the value of the Thai baht has continued to slide against the US dollar, Arkhom said.
"These factors affect our export sector," said Arkhom.
As for re-booting Thailand's economy in 2015, Arkhom urged the military government to focus on issues like creating jobs for low-income workers, promoting export industries, and adjusting interest rates in accordance with the international economy.
Thailand's economy, the second-largest in Southeast Asia and once known as the "Teflon economy" for its perceived resilience, has been strugglying since anti-government protests broke out in November last year. The street protests soon turned violent and eventually led to the military takeover and imposition of martial law on 22 May 2014.