Finance Ministry reports on state of economy for August-Tourism money up, export sector down

BANGKOK – The trade war between China and the United States is affecting the Thai export sector resulting in signs of an overall spending slowdown in August, while production improved and the tourism sector reached its highest growth in eight months.

Mr Wuttiphong Chittangsakul, Deputy Director-General of the Fiscal Policy Office (FPO) disclosed on Friday that a report on the economic conditions in August 2019, found that there were signs of a slowdown in private sector spending. The amount of collected VAT decreased by 5.3 percent, while exports declined by four percent as a result of the trade war.

However, the tourism and agricultural sectors continued to grow well and were factors steering the economy. The number of foreign tourists reached over 3.47 million in August, up by 7.4 percent, the highest growth in eight months.

The number of Chinese tourists grew rapidly. They generated revenue of over 169 billion baht for the country.

The agricultural sector continued to grow steadily while internal economic stability remained sound as the headline inflation rate was at 0.5 percent per year due to increases in fresh food prices.

As for the economic outlook this year, the FPO will revise the economic projections again in October. Information on damage from floods in many areas will be used in the consideration. He expressed his belief that initially the Thai economy in 2020 will grow by three percent.

Source: Thai Finance Ministry