Thai Economy Grows More Than Analysts’ Estimates on Public Investment

Thailand’s economy grew more than analysts estimated in the third quarter as government stimulus spending and a rise in tourist arrivals offset weak local demand and exports.

Gross domestic product gained 2.9 percent in the three months through September from a year earlier, the National Economic and Social Development Board said in Bangkok Monday. That compares with the median estimate of 2.5 percent in a Bloomberg survey of 26 analysts. GDP grew 1 percent from the previous quarter, compared with a prediction for a 0.6 percent gain.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha is seeking to accelerate spending on railways, roads and checkpoints to boost border trade with neighboring countries as overseas demand for Thailand’s disc drives and automobiles remains subdued. The central bank this month kept its key interest rate unchanged for the fourth straight meeting as it waits to assess whether the stimulus will succeed in boosting weak local demand.

“That private sector demand remains poor is no longer a secret,” DBS Group Holdings Ltd. said Monday in a client note before the GDP release. “Going by the Bank of Thailand’s gauges, private consumption and investment have been flat for the best part of the last three years. Any improvement seen this year has been marginal at best.”

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