Thailand records current account surplus of RM3.27bil in October


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BANGKOK (Reuters): Thailand's economy continued to recover in October thanks to consumption and private investment, the central bank said, but exports and the services sector slowed.

The country recorded a current account surplus of $0.7 billion in October, after a surplus of $3.4 billion the previous month, the central bank said on Thursday.

Exports, a key driver of growth, rose 7% year-on-year in October, the Bank of Thailand said in a statement.

Economic activity in November was likely to expand along with private consumption and tourism, the BOT said.

South-East Asia's second-largest economy grew much lower-than expected 1.5% in the July-September quarter from a year earlier, the slowest pace this year, on weak exports and government spending.

On Wednesday, the BOT lowered its 2023 growth forecast to 2.4% from 2.8%. For next year, it predicts growth at 3.2%, but if the government's digital handout policy is implemented, growth is seen at 3.8%, versus a previous forecast of 4.4% growth.

The economy expanded 2.6% last year.

Last week, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said the economy was in "crisis", stressing the need to forge ahead with the controversial policy.

(Reporting by Orathai Sriring and Kitiphong Thaichareon, Writing by Chayut Setboonsarng; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor) - Reuters

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