Thailand Shipping Report Q1 2015
2015 will be a better year for Thailand's ports than 2014. In the context of a weak economy and a downturnin foreign trade, we now estimate that throughput levels contracted at both the country's main ports,Laem Chabang and Bangkok in 2014. But we are projecting a healthy recovery, with growth rates between2% and 6%, in 2015.
We are forecasting a recovery in Thailand's economic outlook 2015, with GDP set to increase by 4.1%,after an almost standstill year in 2014. According to ourt estimates, 2014 will have been weaker thaninitially hoped, with growth of only 0.7%. This was due to a combination of factors. Despite ongoing effortsby the ruling junta to stabilise the political situation and stimulate the economy, the recovery was slow togain traction. Negatives included a subdued export and investment performance, along with depressedconstruction and manufacturing sectors (particularly automobiles). Yet going into 2015 we see growthpositivefactors finally beginning to feed through. They include the beneficial effect of lower oil prices(Thailand imports 85% of its crude oil consumption), a gradual recovery in tourism, fiscal stimulus and thegovernment move to speed up the infrastructure investment approval process. There are still challengesahead, with high household indebtedness and the continuing threat of political volatility among them. Onthe medium term to 2019 we expect average annual GDP growth of 4.0%.
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