Thailand's Q1 GDP contracts by 2.6% amid poorer exports

Author: Nurluqman Suratman

2021/05/17

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Thailand's economy contracted by 2.6% year on year in the first quarter of this year, weighed by poorer exports and consumer spending, official data showed on Monday.

The GDP contraction in the first quarter improved from the 4.2% drop in the fourth quarter of 2020, Thailand's National Economic and Social Development Council said in a statement.

Thailand's economy contracted by 6.1% year on year in 2020.

Exports fell by 10.5% year on year in the first quarter, while imports were up by 1.7%.

Exports of petrochemical products rose by 23.8% year on year while shipments of passenger cars were up by 13.2%.

Private consumption fell by 0.5% year on year in the first quarter, reversing the 0.9% expansion in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Manufacturing rose by 0.7% year on year in the first quarter, reversing the 0.7% contraction in the fourth quarter of 2020.

The National Economic and Social Development Council cut its economic outlook for 2021 to 1.5-2.5% from a previous projection  of 2.5-3.5% growth.

"Export volume is forecasted to grow by 7.3% [in 2021], revised upwardly from 3.8% in the previous projection due to the improvement of the world economy and merchandise trade," the council said.