Publication:
Thailand Economic Monitor : Fiscal Policy for a Resilient and Equitable Future

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Date
2022-12
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2022-12
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Abstract
The economy has shown resilience to recent global shocks thus far, with output surpassing its pre-pandemic level in 2022 Q3, earlier than expected but trailing behind peers. Thailand’s economic recovery, however, lagged that of its ASEAN peers, most of which returned to pre-pandemic levels by late 2021. In addition, exports of goods remained a drag on growth in contrast to many peers who benefitted from stronger good export growth in the first half of this year. Most recently, Thailand experienced a sharp slowdown in goods exports growth, also observed it its ASEAN peers and consistent with the contraction in global manufacturing Purchasing Manager Index (PMI). Despite higher revenue from tourism, the current account deficit remained wide in 2022 Q3. Price pressures have remained elevated and broadened to core inflation. Fiscal measures aimed at mitigating the cost-of-living shock have supported economic activity but contributed to the slowdown in fiscal consolidation. The financial system remains stable overall, although risks associated with increased levels of household and corporate debt have not been resolved. Labor market conditions have improved, but the phasing out of Coronavirus (COVID-19) relief measures and the rising cost of living may slow down poverty reduction. Thailand’s relatively low tax revenue collection contributes to underinvestment in pro-poor spending. Short-term reforms to VAT and social assistance could result in a net increase of tax revenues and significant reductions in poverty and inequality. Thailand will face a difficult global environment in 2023.
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World Bank. 2022. Thailand Economic Monitor : Fiscal Policy for a Resilient and Equitable Future. © Washington, DC: World Bank. http://hdl.handle.net/10986/38410 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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