Thailand Q1 GDP Grows Faster Than Expected But Ukraine War Dims Outlook

Thailand’s economy grew faster than expected during the first quarter of the year, with the help of a pickup in exports and easing of COVID-19 restrictions, although inflation poses risks for the rest of the year.

Gross domestic product grew a seasonally adjusted 1.1% from the final quarter of 2021 to the first quarter of 2022, beating a 0.9% forecast by economists, data from the National Economic and Social Development Council (NESDC) showed.

On an annual basis, the economy expanded 2.2%, up from 1.8% in the previous quarter.

The increase was helped by the food industry and agriculture sector’s return to growth as the transportation sector accelerated, NESDC said.

Exports increased by 14.6% to $73.3 billion, bolstered by an 18.7% year-on-year increase in shipments of chemicals and petrochemical products.

Tourism, a major component of the Thai economy, grew for the first time in 11 quarters by 63.8% annually as COVID-19 restrictions were relaxed.

Meanwhile, NESDC increased its inflation forecast from up to 2.5% to 5.2% this year as the war in Ukraine continues to weigh on pandemic-induced price pressures.

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