Thai economy expands more than forecast on government stimulus


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Thai economy expands more than forecast on government stimulus


Thailand’s economy grew more than analysts estimated in the fourth quarter as the military government’s series of stimulus measures started to bear fruit.
Gross domestic product expanded 2.8 percent in the three months through December from a year earlier, the National Economic and Social Development Board said in Bangkok Monday. That compares with the 2.6 percent median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of 22 analysts. GDP climbed 2.8 percent in 2015, more than the median forecast of 2.7 percent in a separate survey.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha has accelerated budget spending to help everyone from farmers to small businesses, in an effort to boost local demand amid falling exports. Bank of Thailand Governor Veerathai Santiprabhob said last week monetary policy remains accommodative to assist the recovery.
“The economy continues to be supported by public sector spending,” Gundy Cahyadi, an economist at DBS Group Holdings Ltd. in Singapore, said before the data release. “That the government is supporting the economy is good news. But it underscores the sluggishness of private demand.”
The central bank on Feb. 3 kept its policy interest rate unchanged for a sixth straight meeting.

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