Thailand: Q1 GDP-A strong start

5 min
Mahamoud Islam
Mahamoud Islam Senior Economist for Asia

Real GDP growth accelerated to +4.8% y/y in Q1 (from +4% in Q4 2017). The non-agriculture sector remained strong (+4.7% y/y) supported by a rise in (both external and internal) demand for capital and technology goods and a strong performance of tourism-related services. Agriculture activity rebounded to +6.5% y/y growth from contraction (-1.3% in Q4) driven by favorable weather conditions and higher external demand. On the expenditures side, rising incomes and consumer sentiment in a context of low inflation supported private consumption (+3.6% y/y). Investment growth gained speed (+3.4%, up from +0.3% in Q4) helped by a recovery in public investment. The contribution of net exports to growth was reduced in Q1 due to a slower increase in exports (+6% y/y) than in imports (+9% y/y). Against this background, we expect economic growth to remain firm in 2018 as a whole (around +3.9%, similar to 2017).