02/21/2011, 00.00
THAILAND
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Exports and private consumption boost Thai economic growth

In 2010, growth reached 7.8 per cent, 2.3 per cent higher than a year earlier, the fastest rate since 1995, this despite red-shirt protests in April-may 2010. Analysts say however, the figure also reflects higher inflation. Growth is expected to slow down.

Bangkok (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Thailand’s economy has started to grow again, reaching 7.8 per cent last year or 2.3 per cent more than the previous year, this despite the red-shirt protest in April and May 2010 and the world economic crisis.

Analysts note the latest figure was the fastest since 1995 thanks to more solid exports and private consumption.

Gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 1.2 per cent in the October-December period from the previous quarter.

With exports accounting for about two-thirds of Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy, overseas sales climbed 22.3 per cent in January from a year earlier. The government expects exports to increase 12.5 per cent this year, partly because of higher inflation, which hit 3.03 per cent in January.

In order to contain rising inflation, the Bank of Thailand lifted its benchmark interest rate four times since June.

Growth, however, is expected to slow sharply in 2011 to around 4.5 per cent, this according to Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, secretary-general of the government's National Economic and Social Development Board.

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