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Thailand export target may be revised to 7.23%

Publication Date : 14-09-2012


The Commerce Ministry will have to revise downward the country's export target to 7.23 per cent this year after Thai Trade Centres overseas reported more serious impact from the euro-zone and US crisis than predicted.

The head of 65 Thai Trade Centres around the world yesterday joined a meeting at the ministry to consider export plans for the rest of the year. However, they were of the same view that the global economic crisis, both in the US and Europe, had created more serious effects than predicted. They projected that each export market would grow by an average of 5 per cent - zero growth in the EU this year - forcing the ministry to slash its export target from 15 per cent to 7.23 per cent, worth US$238 billion (7.2 trillion baht) this year.

Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyaphirom, however, said Thailand's export growth would be higher than the new revised figure as there are still many opportunities.

"We accept that it's hard to achieve 15 per cent growth as previously projected due to many risk factors and the world's economic downward trend. Orders placed for the rest of the year are not as high as usual," said Boonsong

The ministry hopes to achieve monthly exports of US$21.37 billion for the rest of the year.

The Bank of Thailand (BOT) also acknowledged that the Kingdom's export decline is more serious than expected and proposed that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) revise its export projections.

It is believed that even though exports have decreased, it will not affect GDP as the decline will be offset by increasing domestic demand, including consumption and investment.

Songtham Pinto, director of the Macro-economic Office of the BOT, said that its appraisal of current exports is worse than the BOT had expected. The central bank will discuss its export data with the MPC at its next meeting on October 17 in order to consider adjusting the export figures. After that it will provide the public with the official revised export numbers on October 26.

There is still one more month for the BOT to collect export data, before the meeting takes place. By that time it is more likely to have a final and more accurate export data. The BOT will bring this data to report to the MPC.

At its previous meeting on July 25, the BOT projected exports to grow at 7 per cent with GDP growth set at 5.7 per cent.

Songtham said that in terms of GDP expectations, it is believed that there will likely be no change to the previous goal of 5.7 per cent growth. Even though exports are expected to decline, this should not affect GDP growth as it is expected to be offset by greater domestic demand, especially coming from consumer spending and business investment. In fact GDP growth for the second quarter of 2012 was better than the BOT expected.

The export data from 2011 was recently revised downward by the Customs Department. The new 2011 figures have been downgraded by 3 per cent. Given that the BOT will be expected to decrease export expectation for this year, when compared to the newly revised 2011 figure, export growth will still show a healthy 10 per cent rise over last year.


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