The Thai economy is expected to bounce back to grow by at least 3% in the third quarter year-on-year boosted by recovering exports and easing concerns over the country's economic recession.
The National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB), the government's planning agency, reported its forecast yesterday to the economic ministers' meeting chaired by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
The latest projection was based on statistics from July and August.
Exports saw a rebound in August after three months of decline thanks mainly to a recovery in the global economy and a rise in key shipments, helping shore up exports with growth of 1.03% for the first eight months of this year.
The Commerce Ministry said exports in August rose by 3.92% to US$20.5 billion, with the first eight months' figures rising by 1.03% to $152.83 billion.
Gross domestic product unexpectedly shrank 0.3% in the three months through June from the previous quarter, when it contracted by 1.7%, showing the economy has slipped into a mild recession.
A recession is typically defined as two consecutive quarters of contraction in gross domestic product (GDP).
It was the first recession since the sub-prime financial crisis when the economy contracted 5% quarter-on-quarter in the fourth quarter of 2008 and 2.5% in the first quarter of 2009.
Government's spokesman Teerat Ratanasavi said the NESDB still maintained its economic growth forecast at 3.8-4.3%.
Mr Teerat said the meeting had urged related agencies to seek new export markets beyond the US, as the economic ministers were concerned about the US debt crisis.
The US now accounts for 9% of Thailand's total exports.
Meanwhile, the Bank of Thailand reported to the meeting that the central bank and the Monetary Policy Committee are ready to implement appropriate measures to cushion the impact of the government shutdown in the US.
The central bank also reported there was US$2 billion worth of foreign capital inflow to the local bond market last week.
The meeting also tasked related agencies with speeding up facilitation for imports and exports and talks with neighbouring countries to spur border trade.
As of September, border trade was valued at 600 billion baht, far behind the government's target of 1 trillion baht for the whole year.