Thailand: Govt sticks to 4% GDP growth target this year but Feb exports drop 2.59% y/y, bigger fall than forecast

BANGKOK, March 25 (Reuters): Thailand is maintaining its economic growth target of 4% this year, supported by fiscal measures as well as authorities' containment of a new coronavirus outbreak and vaccine distribution plans, a deputy prime minister said on Thursday.

Thais with high savings are urged to help the country by spending more at time when tourism is sluggish, Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow told a business seminar.

On Wednesday, however, the central bank trimmed its 2021 GDP forecast to 3.0% growth from 3.2%.

Thailand's exports in February dropped a bigger-than-expected 2.59% from a year earlier, weighed down by lower gold shipments, the commerce ministry said on Thursday.

The reading compares with a fall of 1.50% forecast in a Reuters poll and a 0.35% increase in January.

Excluding gold, exports would have increased 4.01% in February.

On Wednesday (March 25), Thailand's central bank left its key interest rate unchanged at a record low on Wednesday, as widely expected, but slightly lowered its 2021 GDP growth forecast after a second wave of coronavirus infections hit economic activity.

The Bank of Thailand's (BOT) monetary policy committee voted unanimously to hold the one-day repurchase rate at 0.50% for a seventh straight meeting. - Reuters
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Thailand , Growth , Govt , Sticks , To Target , 4%


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