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Thai economy heading in the right direction – PM Prayut Chan-o-cha

Thai prime minister
Thai prime minister Prayut Chan-o-cha

Thailand’s PM is expecting a faster-than-expected rebound in international visitors, which, he predicts, will help put Thailand’s economy back on course for pre-pandemic growth in 2023 and beyond.

Following the weekly cabinet meeting, PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says that the Thai economy will expand by 4.2% in 2023, on top of forecast growth of 3.3% this year. In the same week the US has announced its second quarter of negative growth, technically placing the world’s largest economy in a recession.

A result of 3 – 4% growth in the Thai economy would match both 2017 and 2018, the highest growth rates over the past decade.

Whist travel arrivals are starting to creep up again, after Thailand removed all restrictions to people entering the country on July 1, Thailand, so reliant on tourism as a proportion of its annual GDP, is also facing high inbound airfares, surging inflation, increasing fuel prices and recessionary economies in some of its traditional feeder markets.

Although the Tourism and Sports Ministry keep updating and revising their predicted arrival numbers, the PM announced that Thailand expected about 6 million foreign visitors for 2022. He then predicted that number could more than triple to 19 million international arrivals in 2023. 

“We have so much optimism in our economic outlook as the rebound in international tourism has been much faster than we expected.”

Thailand’s retail inflation rate in June jumped 7.7% year-on-year, a number that represents a 14 year high, mostly propelled by surging energy costs. 

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