Thai July balance of trade to be released

Thailand will today release its balance of trade figures for July. Following a 23% year-on-year dive in exports, Thailand’s trade

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Photo: REUTERS/Jorge Silva

Thailand will today release its balance of trade figures for July.

Following a 23% year-on-year dive in exports, Thailand’s trade surplus in June 2020 decreased markedly from $3.3 billion in 2019 to $1.6 billion.

As the Thai economy continues to reel from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, further uncertainty and negative growth indicators are likely. Analysts expect exports to continue falling and the trade surplus to remain low before a forecast recovery in 2021. This is in line with the Ministry of Finance’s expectation of a 27% annual export drop by year’s end.

Uncertainty in Thailand’s overseas export markets and the pandemic’s catastrophic impact on tourism—one of Thailand’s main income generators—is expected to contract GDP growth by 8.7% by the end of the year, the steepest decrease in over 20 years.

The political implications are likely to concern military-backed Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha if discontent over the economic conditions spills over into the business sector, which is dominated by traditional supporters of Chan-o-cha’s authoritarian government. Expect Bangkok to supplement its existing $72 billion stimulus package with further incentives to companies to continue employing staff, including inducements for hiring fresh graduates.

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